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July/August 2008

Vancouver Island’s 50+ Active Lifestyle Magazine

MAKING MAGIC Victoria Magic Circle

Preparing for the North American Indigenous Games


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CELEBRATING SENIORS IN OUR COMMUNITY

Teacher and Cowichan Elder Tselum at a rehearsal for the NAIG. Story on page 16.

Photo: Enise Olding

JULY/AUGUST 2008

COVER PHOTO: Magician Ray Parker, a member of the Victoria Magic Circle, is on fire! Story on page 6. Photo:Vernice Shostal Publisher Barbara Risto Editor Bobbie Jo Sheriff Contributors Norman K. Archer, Tiffany Auvinen, Goldie Carlow, James Allan Evans, Gipp Forster, Bryden Gage, Pat Nichol, Enise Olding, Cathy Reed, Josephine J. Reed, Vernice Shostal, Barbara Small, Judy Stafford, Aileen Stalker Design Barbara Risto, Bobbie Jo Sheriff

6 Abracadabra

Magic is alive and well in the city with the Victoria Magic Circle – meet two of their senior members.

12 The King Returns

Columns 4 The Family Caregiver Barbara Small

Director Arlene Blundell attempts to take live theatre to a new level with the production of The King and I at Nanaimo’s Port Theatre.

10 Victoria’s Past Revisited

16 Sharing the Songs

26 Ask Goldie

Norman Archer

20 Scam Alert Bryden Gage

Goldie Carlow

Drummers practise at the Quw’utsun’ Cultural Centre in Duncan as they gear up for the North American Indigenous Games.

37 Courageous & Outrageous

Ad Sales Staff IMG Innovative Media Group Mathieu Powell 250-704-6288 John Dubay 250-294-9700 Ann Lester 250-755-7750 Barry Risto 250-479-4705 Shelley Ward (Comox Valley) 250-702-3731 RaeLeigh Buchanan 250-479-4705 Robert Doak 250-479-4705

22 On Pointed Toe

48 Reflections:Then and Now

Distribution Ron Bannerman, Gail Fattore, Jim Gahr, Lorraine Rhode, Barry Risto, Betty Risto, Sheila Rose Richardson,Ted Sheaff, Tanya Turner

Organic gardener and author Gail Richards moved to the Cowichan Valley where she can nurture her garden – and herself.

Proofreader Allyson Mantle Advertising Manager Barry Risto For advertising information, call 479-4705 sales@seniorlivingmag.com

Contact Information Senior Living, 153, 1581-H Hillside Ave.,Victoria BC V8T 2C1 Phone 250-479-4705 Toll-free 1-877-479-4705 Fax 250-479-4808 E-mail (General) office@seniorlivingmag.com (Editorial) editor@seniorlivingmag.com Web site www.seniorlivingmag.com Subscriptions $32 (includes GST) for 10 issues. Canadian residents only. No portion of this publication may be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. Senior Living is an independent publication and its articles imply no endorsement of any products or services. The views expressed herein are not necessarily those of the publisher. Unsolicited articles are welcome and should be e-mailed to editor@seniorlivingmag.com Senior Living Vancouver Island is distributed free throughout Vancouver Island. Stratis Publishing Ltd. publishes Senior Living Vancouver Island (10 issues per year), the Housing Guide (January & July) and Senior Living Vancouver & Lower Mainland (10 issues per year). ISSN 1710-3584 (Print) ISSN 1911-6403 (Online)

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FEATURES

SENIOR LIVING

Dancer and volunteer Janice Foran gives her time passionately to the Canadian Pacific Ballet company.

28 Growing the Garden Within

30 Retracing Roman Footsteps

A Roman Empire cruise such as the Romans never experienced.

34 Scooting

Josephine Reed hits the streets (and paths) of Victoria in style – and comfort!

42 Happy Feet on Phillip Island

Little Penguins scuttle from sea to sand dune homes, and tourist flock to see them.

46 Volunteer Tour de Force Louise Strand-Russell is responsible for bringing the Tour de Rock campaign to Vancouver Island.

Pat Nichol

Gipp Forster

and...

Home Support Directory 36 Crossword 38 Classifieds 39 Events 44


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THE FAMILY CAREGIVER

C

aring for someone long distance can be as stressful – sometimes even more so than being in the same location. Your initial reaction may be to move your family member closer to you, but consider whether this might be more disruptive and stressful for everyone involved. Are you prepared to have them live with you? Or are you prepared to be their only social contact once they move away from all that is familiar? Below are some suggestions to make caring from a distance easier: • Remember, you may not be able to do everything, but you will be able to do enough. Even the “best” caregivers feel a sense of guilt, believing they could have done more. • Establish a support network in your family member’s hometown with contact people who can provide you with a clear picture of the situation. These contact people might include a close friend, a minister, a doctor or others who regularly visit them. Ask them to alert you if they notice changes in your family member’s behaviour, appearance, memory, mobility or food habits. • Ask someone to check in with your

Caregiving from a Distance

family member on a regular basis. Keep the name and telephone number of this person with you, and ensure they have your telephone numbers. • You may need to set up a financial arrangement with a neighbour or student to run errands or perform various chores to help your relative better manage his or her life. • Gather information about services, resources and other avenues for care available in their community. Call the local senior’s centre for information. Do this in advance, even if you don’t need these services immediately. • Pick up a copy of the local telephone directory and take it home with you. • Schedule regular visits with your relative. Plan, in advance, what you need to accomplish during the visit. Be observant while you are there. Are they eating regularly? Are the bills being paid? • Some communities offer telephone assurance programs. Usually staffed by volunteers, these programs place calls to frail and disabled persons living alone. If the person who is called does not answer at the designated check-in

BY BARBARA SMALL

time, the volunteer then places a call to an emergency number provided by the family. Many volunteer organizations also have friendly visitor programs that provide regular visits to elders who aren’t able to get out. • In a non-emergency situation, try to step back and evaluate whether or not you need to travel or if you can send someone else in your place. Can someone take care of it locally? This frees up your time and funds for emergencies or times when it is essential for you to be there. • Make sure legal and financial affairs are in place and up-to-date. Find out the name of their lawyer, where they bank and where they keep important documents. SL

Next month: Caregiver Syndrome

Barbara Small is Program Development Coordinator for Family Caregivers’ Network Society.

The Family Caregiver column is brought to you by the generous sponsorship of ElderSafe Support Services

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abracadabra!

STORY AND PHOTOS BY VERNICE SHOSTAL

The Mad Hatter Ray Parker performs a magic card trick.

T

he Victoria Magic Circle, The Ernie Crockford Ring 183, one of the most active magic clubs in North America, has been bringing magic to the people of Victoria for over 75 years. Interest in magic, which began in Europe in the late 1800s and spread to the English6

SENIOR LIVING

speaking world in the early 1900s, resulted in the formation of the International Brotherhood of Magicians with Canadian Len Vintus of Winnipeg as its president. Trade magazine The Linking Ring, edited by Vintus, gathered magicians from around the globe, including top magician Frank Merryfield from

Victoria, who was largely responsible for the birth of Victoria’s first Magic Circle, Ring 10, in 1928. While the club lasted several years, the Great Depression and the threat of the Second World War distracted members, and its prestigiously low ring number went to Detroit.


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Another well-known magician in the history of the Victoria Magic Circle, Ernie Crockford, who began making a name for himself in his youth when he won major prizes at the first convention of the New Pacific Coast Association of Magicians in Seattle, encouraged other magicians across the continent and up and down the Pacific Coast. As a result, Victoria’s second ring, The International Brotherhood of Magicians Ring 183, was formed in 1953. After Crockford’s death, the club was renamed in his honour. Born in Wednesfield, a small town in the British midlands, actor, performer, comedian and singer Ray Parker, better known as The Mad Hatter, and one of almost 50 members of the current Victoria Magic Circle, began performing as a puppeteer at the age of 11. Expanding his skills, Ray earned the reputation of a stand-up comedian. “All through my life, I’ve been a sort of inventor and creator of props,” says Ray. At first, Ray didn’t realize that some of the creations were magic tricks. “I would play a penny whistle and a string of sausages would come out of my violin case and climb up to the ceiling, but I didn’t know it was a magic trick.” In his early 20s, Ray completed his training as an operatic tenor and often appeared both as a comedian and a vocalist. Before becoming a full-time magician, Ray qualified as a bricklayer, an insurance agent, a photographer, and an industrial X-ray operator. At 36, he came to Canada and got a job as an industrial radiographer. When that job ended – unbeknownst to him, he’d only been hired for three months – he went to work with Alcan before he became a salesman in a beauty supply business, always doing shows at night. Ray has appeared on screen with actors such as Jack Lemon, Sheena Easton, Hal Linden and other stars. He has appeared on television commercials, network shows, news reports, talk shows, over 60 fairs and exhibitions in North America including the PNE

JULY/AUGUST 2008

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Debra Rees

The Cool Magic Dude Eric Bedard performing at the Mirth and Magic Show on May 24 at Isabel Reader Theatre in Victoria.

Brenda Ellis Certified Senior Advisor 8

SENIOR LIVING

(Vancouver), the Royal Winter Fair (Toronto) and Klondike Days (Edmonton) and entertained on pleasure cruises. He has won numerous awards for children’s magic and close-up table magic. Besides the Mad Hatter, Ray has created dozens of costumes, including his famous “Captain Cookie” for naval occasions. Ray is also the club’s official town crier. Born in North Bay, Ontario and twice president of the Victoria Magic Circle, actor and entertainer Eric Bedard, the Cool Magic Dude, works 200 days a year performing on the Princess Cruise Lines. Three or four times a year, his wife, Linda, a nurse, accompanies him. Assisting his father,David Ray Reid Bedard, who performed as the “Great Gilbini” in the late 1950s, Eric began his magic career at the age of seven. At 14, he performed his own solo stage show for an audience of 300 and later incorporated magic into his career as a corporate sales manager and eventually as a highly sought-after motivational speaker. Eric has entertained for celebrities like David Foster, Josh Groban, Merv Griffin, Jim Carey, Pamela Anderson and others. A Buddhist and a vegetarian, the 58-year-old, who meditates every day and runs 58 kilometres a week, moved to Victoria in 1994. He lives by two mottos: “Today, I’m going to help as many people have a great day as possible,” and “Today, I’m going to have more fun than I did yesterday without making a big footprint on the earth.” Apart from cruising, Eric works at corporate functions, such as tradeshows, banquets, think tank seminars and Fortune 500 companies all over the world. He works in New York and Las Vegas several times a year. Recently, he had the opportunity to perform at Monday Night Magic, the longest running offBroadway show in New York. Eric says he was fortunate in his earlier days to have had some great mentors from the club, including the late Tony Eng. Currently, Eric is working on two books: one, a guide book for profes-


sional magicians and serious amateur magicians; and, another, on making the most of every situation by maintaining a positive attitude, setting and attaining goals and living to help make the world a better place. Magicians from the VMC have been generous with their time to help raise funds for the Mustard Seed Food Bank. For the past 15 years, the club has given well over 100 shows for seniors who are institutionalized and seldom have the opportunity to enjoy live entertainment. Members have also worked with occupational therapists to aid patients in several local hospitals where Magic Therapy is used for cognitive and manipulative rehabilitation. Around town, every Saturday night, magicians bring a variety comedy/magic act with their Wig and Thistle Show to The Blethering Place on Oak Bay Avenue. On Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights, with occasional variations in the schedule, The Sticky Wicket Pub on Douglas Street has offered magical entertainment for the past 13 years. Victoria magicians hold regular monthly meetings. They have an extensive library of books, videos and DVDs, which Club members may borrow for a small fee. For those who already experiment with some magic, or would like to learn, consider joining the enthusiastic, friendly, helpful and funSL loving group of magicians in Victoria. For more information about the Victoria Magic Circle, visit www.victoriamagiccircle.com

W NEJULY 2008 VANCOUVER ISLAND

Housing Guide for Seniors

Up-to-date listings of senior housing facilities throughout Vancouver Island, including Independent/Supportive Living, Assisted Living and Complex Care. This guide is an indispensable resource to:

• seniors looking for alternative housing • seniors moving to Vancouver Island from other parts of BC or out of province • children of seniors who are assisting their parent to select a housing option • professionals who work with seniors or their families • businesses that provide services to seniors

Listings include addresses and contact information, housing costs, number of units in the housing complex, hospitality services, optional home care services, amenities and security features. Available at most libraries and senior centres. Call (250)479-4705 for a location near you. View Online at: www.seniorlivingmag.com (Look for HOUSING GUIDE> To view a copy...)

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AN EXCEPTIONAL LIFE

JULY/AUGUST 2008

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VICTORIA’S Past REVISITED ”It is a rotten world. Artful politicians are its bane. It’s saving grace is the artlessness of the young and the wonders of the sky.” o reads the quaint, grammatically flawed epitaph on a granite slab, close to the only monkey tree in Ross Bay Cemetery. During the 10-year period between the time his frustration was thus engraved on the slab and the date he was interred beneath it in 1943, John Dean had his photograph taken at least four times, standing beside his own gravestone. He made sure all his friends had copies. The sterling character of the indomitable Dean rose to surface when he was only 13 years old, working as a carpenter at Runcorn, Cheshire, England near the Mersey River. Cries were heard from a small boy who had fallen into the swirling waters. Without a moment’s hesitation, young Dean ran 40 yards along the riverbank, plunged fully clothed into the river, grabbed the drowning boy, stowed him under his arm and began to swim to shore. Before he reached safety, his attention was drawn to a second child, sinking for the last time. Still holding on to the first

S

A ROTTEN WORLD

boy, he plunged again into the depths, then surfaced and, holding both children, brought them to the riverbank. For his courage, he was awarded the Royal Humane Society Medal in 1864. Ten years later, he arrived in Toronto, seeking his fortune. His search for adventure took him to Chicago, Texas, New York, San Francisco and, finally, Victoria on April 26, 1884 at the age of 33. He loved to boat and swim, but was drawn to the “Red Light” district of Chatham Street – not to avail the girls of their services, but to treat them to a dinner and encourage them to seek a better life. It appears he fell in love with one of the girls, who later produced a baby daughter. However, she stoutly denied Dean was the child’s father and moved to Vancouver to protect him from scandal. It wasn’t long before Dean was caught up in the gold fever and spent six months fruitlessly panning and digging. Returning to Victoria, poorer and wiser, he began a successful construction business in Esquimalt. But the spirit of adventure still burned in his heart and it was on one of his many jaunts into the Interior that he saw a

hotel owner kick a drunken “Indian” in Kamloops, so went to his rescue. The confused man turned and struck Dean with a heavy rock, resulting in a deep gash that needed stitches and bed-rest. Dean was furious and relentlessly pursued his attacker, found him in Port Moody, and stayed there long enough to see the man get his just desserts at the hands of the law. Always with his eyes open for a good land deal, in 1895, he saw his opportunity to bid on what was described as “100 acres of very desirable property on Mount Newton.” At $375, his was the highest bid. Dean was delighted – until he went to see it for the first time a few days later and complained bitterly about “the most undesirable bit of property indeed!” It was over 10 years before his anger let him go back to his holdings on Mount Newton. Usually, his business investments were sound. He did extremely well in a pioneer hydroelectric company in tiny Prince Rupert, including a valuable franchise from the B.C. Legislature. But it was through this and similar experiences with government officials that his attitude towards politicians soured. He referred to them as a

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THE TALE OF JOHN DEAN BY NORMAN K. ARCHER

“pretty crumby crowd.” Now, a new venture caught his attention. The mining industry in the Kootenays was booming, so in 1896, Dean moved to Rossland and became not only a successful businessman, but also a Notary Public and a Justice of the Peace; in 1900 he became an Alderman, but the fun really began, in 1903, when he became Mayor! The newspaper called him the “Civic Dictator” because he moved around town enacting rules and making enemies as he went along. He met with the city’s engineer, police chief, fire chief, ambulance men and told them that he was “perfectly disgusted with the incompetence.” He reduced waste, cut salaries, enforced vaccination, organized property titles and cleaned up the cemetery. On one occasion, he saw a city official idling on a street corner. He grabbed a broom and told the flabbergasted official to sweep the streets. Rossland didn’t give him a second term as its Mayor. John Dean never married. The closest he came was when he fell madly in love with the considerably younger Vienna Bowie. It was a stormy rela-

tionship with as much passion in their anger as in their love. They slowly drifted apart and Dean was never as deeply involved with another woman. His passion for adventure, however, never dimmed. He travelled the world, visiting over 30 countries in his search to expand his knowledge. As he neared his 60th birthday, he returned to settle down in Victoria and take another look at this “most undesirable” piece of property he had bought on Mount Newton. He camped out there for a few nights. Then, he started to cut some trails through the bush. Then, he cleared a site to build himself a log cabin around which he planted English ivy, dug two wells and planted a garden. Children soon visited his mountain retreat, much to Dean’s delight, and he built a variety of rustic amusements to entertain them. Over the next few years, he found himself constantly embroiled in quarrels with government officials. He had his finger in everything. In spite of his dislike for politicians, he decided once again to be one. He waged three successive intensive campaigns to become Mayor of Victoria, with a view to introduce much-needed sweeping

reforms and turn the city into a place of unrivalled beauty, but he was heavily defeated every time. Victoria was not ready for him. His frustration at the shortsightedness and stupidity of the authorities was etched in the stone on his grave for future generations to see. In 1921, he blazed a new trail. He was the first person in British Columbia to donate land as a Provincial Park for all to enjoy. John Dean Park on Mount Newton stands as a lasting tribute to a man with vision far beyond his time, whose early life was marked with a medal for an act of humanitarian courage and whose later life attracted accolades for an act of humanitarian SL generosity.

Norman Archer is an historical city tour guide in Victoria and the author of Tales of Old Victoria. Contact him at 250-655-1594 or nka@canada.com

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THE KING RETURNS With a little help from his friends. STORY AND PHOTO BY JUDY STAFFORD

R

ubbing a Buddha’s belly is considered good luck, so Arlene Blundell takes a few extra strokes, just in case. She’s directing the upcoming production of Rogers & Hammerstein’s The King and I at the Port Theatre in Nanaimo, so she figures extra luck can’t hurt. The King and I is set in Siam, now known as Thailand, and tells the story of an unlikely connection between a gruff king, with numerous wives, and a proper English teacher. This musical, being showcased July 18th, 19th, and 20th at the Port, is something Arlene, and her company UBetcha! Promotions, have dreamt of doing for a long time – casting started over a year and a half ago. Plays aren’t new to Arlene; she’s directed for over 30 years: dinner theatres, small community groups, and even a play held at the William Head Prison in Victoria. “That was really interesting, getting into the facilities and working with the prisoners,” she says. Born in Saskatchewan, Arlene’s family moved to the Island when she was a small child. Independent at an early age, she 12

SENIOR LIVING

and a girlfriend hitchhiked around Europe until they ran out of money. She taught on her return to Nanaimo, but soon met her husband-to-be on a blind date. She hit the road again when the couple decided to move to Puerto Rico. “My husband worked in a bank and I worked in a private school,” says Arlene. “We had our son Art there, but I just missed the seasons and the cool days. It was also so hot all year around so, after two years, we decided to come back – I missed my family so we moved to Burnaby where I taught school. Then, we had our daughter Nancy.” Arlene wanted to have more children, but couldn’t, and adoption was difficult when they already had two of their own. So, she and her husband became a host family through their church for a Vietnamese family. “They lived with us for a year, and it was one of the most fascinating years of our lives. We have kept in touch; they are like our extended family. They’re wonderful people, really hard working, and so nice.” Arlene knows all about hard work. As director of so many


plays over the years, she’s escaped numerous potential gaffes. But for the most part, luck has been on her side, except once in 1982 when Arlene directed, The Importance of Being Ernest – her favourite play. “Most of the people in that play had never been involved in theatre before. We had a man who was a carpenter offer to build the sets. He built houses, but for sets, you use paper, or cloth – light materials – especially if you have to change three sets. He used wood, and they weighed a ton. It was the last show, the set changers got careless and one of the walls in the third set was not braced. I was sitting in the audience and

“I ask myself, ‘why do I do this?’ And it’s because I really enjoy being with people in a creative endeavour.” I could see it slowly falling down,” says Arlene. “As the wall came down, the actor merely started walking forward. It was the end of the play, so the curtain closed, and nobody got hurt. It was an awful feeling watching it fall – but it was pooped and worn out. But luckily, that was about the worse disaster with all the shows I have done.” Coincidentally, Arlene will direct the same production again in Qualicum Beach next October. Rest assured, the set construction will be done differently this time around. Arlene believes strongly in the magic of musicals. “The musicals of today are different than the old ones of the ’50s and ’60s, but there are still a lot of people who enjoy the music and the old-fashioned stories. It’s a nice change, like a breath of fresh air. I’m hoping songs like, “Getting To Know You” and “Something Wonderful,” which are beautiful songs still being played today, will bring people. I love the spirit of the big, old musicals.” Musical theatre isn’t the only pastime that brings out her passion. Arlene’s volunteer time has included: Treasurer of the Nanaimo Arts Council, chairing the Opening and Closing

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Publication:

Senior Living magazine

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July/August 2008

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More of what you enjoy… Coming this fall! Deepen your knowledge, make new friends, stimulate your mind, and enrich your life through part-time adult education at UVic. Some new courses this season are: The Arts: • Painting After 1990 • Anyone Can Draw Level II • The World of Béla Bartók • Movie of Movies: Citizen Kane Health and Wellness: • Optimal Health: Are You Living a ‘Therapeutic Lifestyle’? • Learning How to Assess the Quality of Health Information on the Internet Humanities, History and Contemporary Issues • Obama or McCain? American Presidential Politics, Canada and the World • Sustainable Seafood: Realities, Myths and Challenges Victoria’s History: • The Brideship • Tory’s People Watch for the new course calendar in August! Pick up a copy at your local library or find it on our website (see below).

Deans’ Lunchtime Lectures This popular series will be held at the Greater Victoria Public Library on Broughton Street, downtown Victoria—Register early to make sure you get a seat! For more information or to register in a course, call

250-472-4747

www.continuingstudies.uvic.ca JULY/AUGUST 2008

13


Ceremonies for BC Disability Games and the Nanaimo Toy Drive and serving on the Board of the Nanaimo Film Commission. “I ask myself, ‘why do I do this?’ And it’s because I really enjoy being with people in a creative endeavour,” she says. “I like to see community people on stage at the Port Theatre because it’s a chance for actors to be on stage, who might never be on stage. I enjoy live theatre very much; I like going out on a limb. I love hand gliding too,” she

laughs. “That’s what I do in the summer. I don’t take undue risks anymore, but it’s great working with talented people – I learn from all of them.” Retired from teaching since 1993, when she’s not directing plays and volunteering in her community, Arlene continues to feed her travel bug. Last count, 56 countries were checked off her “to-see” list, with places like the eastern Europe still to come. “There are things I will like to do when I get old, but I am not there yet,”

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SENIOR LIVING

she says. “I think keeping busy and active, keeps you feeling young. I get to associate with people of all ages; theatre allows that – to mix with people of all ages, all kinds and all personalities. I learn a lot about communication and getting along with people.” Arlene also has a way with animals. During her production of The Music Man at the Port in 1996, she envisioned a real horse would pull the Wells Fargo Wagon. Skepticism was unlimited, but that didn’t stop her. “The probability was it would never happen. But it did, and it was beautiful. That was a real thrill being able to cast a horse!” she laughs. “Now, wouldn’t it be great to bring an elephant on stage for the King?” So far, there isn’t one available, but if anyone can make it happen, it’s Arlene. To see if she manages the seemingly impossible or to enjoy some great theatre, book tickets for The King and I soon. For more information regarding tickets, times, and dates for the production, SL visit www.porttheatre.com

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SHARING THE SONGS

Drummers rehearse for the North American Indigenous Games at the Quw’utsun’ Centre 16

SENIOR LIVING

from other areas who perform their songs for us and, other times, we hear more about the culture of the Cowichan people.” Recently, visitors from other tribes joined the drummers to swell numbers to about 500. “I think we raised the roof,” laughs Roxane. “It was marvellous! Each of the tribes played their songs and we all joined in together, and we even danced!” The drummers will be involved at several events during the Games from opening and closing ceremonies, to greeting up to 100 canoes in the largest ever Tribal Journey as they arrive in Cowichan Bay on July 28th. Coming from as far away as the Alaskan border (Tlingket) and the Queen Charlotte Islands (Haida), the canoes will each have a support boat and crews and ground crews, making for three to four thousand visitors who, protocol demands, ask permission of the local Chief to come ashore and receive a traditional Coast

Photo: Enise Olding

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hythmic drumming and voices, raised in unison, reverberate around the Quw’utsun’ Cultural Centre in Duncan every Thursday evening as more and more people join the group of the eventual 1,000 drummers to perform at the North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) this August. Participants are negotiating a few learning curves, least of which is the stamina needed to drum and chant as instructed, from deep within. “No humming or lip-syncing – you should be heard over and above the drums,” they are told. Encouraged and guided by their teacher, Tousilum, and people from the Cowichan Tribes, the drummers gradually learn the culture of the people whose songs they sing. Each evening is a “happening,” according to Expressive Arts Therapist, Roxane Strasbourg. “Sometimes, there are visitors

BY ENISE OLDING


Salish welcome. Plus, the Spirit Pole, which will have travelled throughout the province, carved by 10,000 hands, will be towed in. Four days of tradition involve the sharing of gifts, songs and dances; all providing a taste of the endurance needed by the drummers for the rest of the Games’ events. Drummer Don Skerik, by day, a college trades instructor, joined the drummers to learn more about the Cowichan culture and play a part in the Games. “There are all types of people from the community here, including city councillors and the mayor,” he says. Along with retired librarian, Nancy Greenwood, Don agrees it’s hard work. “It’s a real workout,” sighs Nancy, after a protracted and enthusiastic delivery of one of the three songs being learned by the group. But, humour plays a large part in the proceedings too, she adds. Nancy is as reverent as the others in the group when she says, “It’s about sharing the songs; it’s the first time these songs have been shared.” Just as the group laughs heartily at the encouraging quips and humorous comments made by their teachers, so do they give rapt attention when the native culture is shared. Every person here knows this is not only a special experience, but also an historic event of which they are a part. It is into such a respectful atmosphere that a visitor from Kingcum Inlet addresses the drummers. He “commends the courage of the Cowichan people” in sharing their heritage by way of the songs because this normally doesn’t happen, and the songs created in his family over many years are not allowed to be shared by others. The gathered drummers are aware they, as the visitor says, “have been recruited to tell our story.” Not everyone in the group has a drum; some sing, others raise their arms, palms upward swaying in rhythm to offer thanks and encouragement to the drummers. Well-known Victoria drum maker Johnny Samson made Roxane’s drum. And it was in a pawnshop that Nancy came across hers. She was a little hesitant to use it, at first, wondering about the drum’s original owner, until

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When someone needs to talk, can you be there to listen? It’s your call. Crossroads Crisis Centre Comox Valley is seeking volunteers for the 24 hour crisis line. Learn how to help others connect to services they need. Help create a caring community. Please call for info (250) 338-0512 For online info www.crossroadscrisis.ca © drawyellehs.com

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Photo: Enise Olding

Nancy Greenwood shares a laugh and a song with two Cowichan Elders

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she was assured by a tribe member that it was indeed OK for her to use the drum as the previous owner would, by now, have another one they treasured. For those who are not drummers or singers, the Games offer a multitude of volunteer and learning opportunities. The 3,000 volunteers needed will attend General Training and Orientation sessions, with the option of attending Cultural Awareness Training. At one such session, a diverse group of 24 gathers in a circle to learn about the Cowichan Tribes, and each other. A cross-section of society is represented with former teachers, farmers, long-time settlers, immigrants and tribes members, to name a few. In common is their desire to learn more about each other, dispel misconceptions and clarify preconceived notions. Again, a reverence settles on the group, where a wish to connect openly with others is clear. During the session, tears and laughter, awe and understanding prevail. Small groups explore an historical timeline, discuss their impressions and share comments about what they’ve read. The oral tradition and teachings of the Cowichan people is also shared, like the significance of various elements of importance to the band, such as the role of cedar and cedar canoes. Cedar is precious, clean and healing. By being carved into a canoe, it is immersed in another healing element, water. This leads into explanations of the self-discipline and training required by those who paddle the canoes – strict diet, training in their own time, running and no fried food or Slurpies, the facilitators laugh. As the Cowichan Valley prepares for 5,000 athletes, 3,000 indigenous artisans, Tribal Journeys canoes, 3,000 volunteers and countless spectators, the Games are summed up by Manager, Communications and Marketing, Brennan Gohn when she says, “this event is a catalyst for reconciliation as we identify who we are, what we are about. This project is just a startSL ing point for us as we move forward as a community.”

Tribal Journe ys Canoe Vo yage: July 28 North Ameri Cowichan B can Indigeno ay us Games: A Location: Du ugust 3-10 ncan and the Cowichan Val All events fr ley ee and open welcome. to the public – Everyone Free shuttle service to eve locations. nt venues, ce ntral parking Sporting eve n Baseball, Bas ts: 3-D Archery, Athleti cs, Badminto ketball, Can n, oeing, Golf, Shooting, So Lacrosse, R ccer, Softball, ifle Swimming,Tae ball, Wrestlin kw g. Sport com petitions and ondo,Volleyare non-tick cultural even eted. ts Activities: O pening Cere – entertainm monies, Cu ltural Village ent, artisans, merchandise Closing Cere , symposium monies. s, For more in fo, visit www .cowichan20 08.com


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SCAM ALERT BY BRYDEN GAGE

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Avoid Crooked Contractors

ome improvement can be a costly undertaking. If something goes wrong with the company you hire to fix your roof or install rain gutters, it can be extremely stressful to correct the situation. Summer, when the weather is ideal for home repairs, is considered the boom time for contractors. During this high season, homeowners could be hard pressed to find a contractor to work on their home for prices they consider reasonable. In some cases, a few unscrupulous and unqualified people market themselves with cheap offers to do everything from asphalt paving to tree trimming. In the end, these unreliable operators pave your driveway with leftover materials, or do a shoddy job of shingling your roof, leaving you to undue the damage they caused. Before you give people any money or allow them into your home, BBB suggests: Safety first: if an unknown person shows up at your door, don’t invite them inside until you feel sure they are trustworthy. Name and location: get the name and address of the company the vendor claims to represent.

Effective strategies for managing each stage of your life.

Life Span Counselling For Boomers & Seniors

Problems with Life Transitions? Depression? Retirement-related Stress or Confusion? Loss of Direction or Purpose? Aging-related Concerns? Changing Relationships? 20

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Sonja Lindquist, B.S.W., B.A., M.Sc is a counselor and certified retirement coach who specializes in working with the life issues that impact boomers and seniors. Sonja works with clients at her office at #4-321 Wesley St., Nanaimo, or by phone, or online. Please call Sonja at 716-9101 for an appointment.

Put it in writing: ensure all details and verbal promises are included in a contract. Review it and make sure you understand the document. Never sign a contract with sections left blank. Check for qualifications: verify the individual is licensed, bonded, insured and is registered with WorkSafeBC (Workers’ Compensation Board). Price is not everything: don’t always go for the lowest bid. If estimates for the same work vary widely, find out why. Sometimes, unscrupulous operators may use sub-standard materials or take longer to finish the job. Make cheques payable to the company: do not pay in cash and do not make cheques payable to an individual. Avoid “Bait-and-switch” tactics: some disreputable companies will offer low prices for installation of items like windows and home siding, but then come back later to the client saying the item is currently out of stock and can only be replaced with a high-priced substitute. Get everything in writing, and know the terms in advance. Remember to cool off: do not be pressured if you are unsure. If you sign a contract from a door-to-door salesperson and you change your mind, you have a 10-day cooling-off period to cancel. For information about door-to-door contracts, visit Business Practice and Consumer Protection Authority at www.bpcpa.ca Avoid crooked contractors by going to vi.bbb.org for a Reliability Report. You will also find hiring tips and can request a job quote from BBB Accredited Businesses on our website. SL Bryden Gage is the Acting Executive Director of the Better Business Bureau of Vancouver Island. If you believe you have been the target or victim of a scam, please call the Better Business Bureau Vancouver Island at 250-386-6348 in Greater Victoria or at 1-877-826-4222 elsewhere on the Island, so others can benefit from your experience. E-mail info@vi.bbb.org


The Originals Only Art Show & Sale August 9 & 10 – Marina Park in Comox – 10:00 - 5:00 daily

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isitors to the 6th Annual “Originals Only” Fine Art Show and Sale at the Comox Marina have a golden opportunity to see and purchase art from a colourful array of hundreds of paintings in many different styles, sizes and prices. They can also speak with each artist about their work, choice of medium (oil, acrylic, watercolour) and subject matter. Started by a group of accomplished artists who wanted to introduce art lovers and collectors to their work, “Originals Only” means just that: no reproductions, photographs or duplicate art is allowed, and each artist’s work is juried before they become part of this event. Many of the artists have received awards for their work. The show was awarded “Best New Tourism Product” by Comox Valley Tourism and continues to be a rare event, since most art shows include pottery, jewelery and other admirable creations.

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Sign up for our Senior Living newsletter, coming soon! Interesting info specific to our readers, discount coupons, upcoming events....emailed to you directly.

A “must see” for Island residents and visitors, the 2007 show attracted tourists from France, the U.K., all over North America and Japan. Admission and parking are free. For more information, visit www.originalsonly.ca

Visit us online at www.seniorlivingmag.com

New Look New Information

And more coming in the months ahead. Coming in 2008 - more articles, more information, more interactivity, more fun... special offers and information from senior-focused businesses... the launch of our Senior Living E-TV! Email us at office@seniorlivingmag.com and let us know what YOU would like to see on our website. JULY/AUGUST 2008

21


STORY AND PHOTOS BY VERNICE SHOSTAL

On Pointed Toe C

ommitted to reaching audiences wherever they are – an opera house setting, a park, or a community centre – the Canadian Pacific Ballet, barely two years old, has rolled up the carpet in its Market Square, Victoria home and travelled as far as Campbell River and Salt Spring Island to perform for receptive and appreciative audiences. A non-profit organization with charitable status, Canadian Pacific Ballet, which made its debut on an eight-city regional tour in the spring of 2007, is dedicated to the performance and pres22

SENIOR LIVING

ervation of Romantic and Classical ballet. Practising on a portable floor, taken with them when they travel, the dancers are always on familiar ground. Volunteer and Special Events Co-ordinator Janice Foran, who danced six nights a week when she was a teenager in London, England, got involved with the ballet company when they began to introduce themselves to the community with afternoon teas and demonstrations of excerpts from their repertoire. After seeing their first performance in Sidney, she told the managing director to give her a call if they needed help. “Dance is

my passion,” says Janice. As Special Events Co-ordinator, Janice says her job is “to do anything they need help with,” receptions after the opening, the gala (a fundraising event) and working in the studio at Market Square. “They have set up the studio almost like a little French café,” says Janice. After a short performance, they greet people, answer questions and entertain their guests. Janice has helped by encouraging her friends to bake, greeting guests and pouring tea. She has acted as a taxi driver, made lunches for hungry


performers, assisted at silent auctions, stuffed envelopes and assembled programs. “Knowing the Company as I do now, I am there with them in all their faults and triumphs. It is exciting,” she says. Janice’s experience with dance goes back to her childhood when she took lessons in tap, jazz and ballet. “I just love the grace and power of the body,” she says. And as a dancer, she knows the work it takes to be in control of the body. She says she is thrilled to be involved with the beautiful and theatrical ballet performances. And while Janice loves quiet times, knitting, sewing, quilting and painting, she can’t stay off the dance floor. A member of the Victoria Ballroom Dance Society, she takes lessons in Argentine Tango. “Dance in this city is amazing,” she says. When Janice came to Canada from London with friends in 1966, she settled in Toronto where, contrary to her dance training and much to the disappointment of her dance teacher in England, she took a job as a comptometer operator with Price Waterhouse at the TD Centre. There, she met her husband, Peter, who worked with the International Department of the TD bank. The couple moved to Oakville, Ottawa, Vancouver and Victoria, where Janice says the flowers, the fauna, the sea smell and the air remind her of England. Her attitude towards aging is summed up by a tile on her kitchen wall: “Age is mind over matter; if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” Canadian Pacific Ballet in-

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“Knowing th e Company as I do now, I am there with them in all their faults and tr iumphs. It is exciting ... I just love the grace an d power of the body.” JULY/AUGUST 2008

23


Left,Volunteer Janice Foran pours tea for guests at the Canadian Pacific Ballet’s Market Square location. Page 22, Janice backstage with the dancers during a performance of The Scent of Cedars. Right, When it comes to her volunteer duties with the Canadian Pacific Ballet, Janice is a Jill-of-all-trades.

cludes people of all ages. Working with young people, their apprentice program focuses on the development of future professional ballet dancers. Catering to seniors, they are looking to organize buses to pick up seniors for matinee performances and take them home after the show. Where venues are available, the group will take their performances to senior residences. Recently, the Oak Bay Community Centre was the site of two productions: a world première, The Scent of Cedars, and Little Red Riding Hood, the first of their Young Audience Series. The Scent of Cedars is based on the powerful story of a young couple living in a remote West Coast Community, and their struggle with the death of their ailing mother. It portrays the tastes, sounds and scents of the West Coast as experienced through the senses of an aging blind woman, focusing on the small things in life we often forget to enjoy. Little Red Riding Hood included the classical forest birds as well as a dancing cow. For this production, Canadian Pacific Ballet

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SENIOR LIVING

Roadmasters Safety Group Inc. (250) 383-6041 www.roadmasters.org

CORRECTION In the June issue of Senior Living, a photo of the Canadian Pacific Ballet company ran with a story about the Chemainus Theatre in error. We apologize for any inconvenience this error may have caused.


teamed up with the Queen Alexandra Foundation for Children. Patrons were asked to bring a non-perishable food item to be added to Little Red Riding Hood’s basket, which was delivered to the foundation by Little Red herself. This summer, the Canadian Pacific Ballet will perform in Beacon Hill Park. They also expect to perform in the square at city hall. In the fall, the company will travel to Campbell River, Courtenay, Powell River, Qualicum, Long Beach, Port Alberni, Sooke, Sidney and Vancouver, reaching communities wherever there is an interest in the graceful form. For more information about performances or to volunteer for the Canadian Pacific Ballet, visit their website at www.canadianpacificballet.org or call Anthony at 250-335-2522. SL

JULY/AUGUST 2008

25


ASK

Photo: Jason van der Valk

Goldie

BY GOLDIE CARLOW, M.ED

Dear Goldie: I am a widower in my 70s, in good health and very active. In addition to walking and swimming, I am a volunteer and busy nearly every day of the week. My social life includes dating a few ladies for dinners, shows, etc. Therein lies my problem. One of the ladies has become possessive and is demanding that I stop dating others. I don’t want to be rude, but I want to end all association with this possessive widow without making a scene. Can you help? –D.A. Dear D.A.: My first reaction is that your behaviour has led this lady to believe she is special in your life. Naturally, she wants to get rid of the competition. If this is not the case, and you have been honest about dating other women, then you must discuss the situation immediately and not give her false hope for the future. Many seniors who have lost their mates miss the proximity and affection they once enjoyed. If they can stay active and volunteer their time, there is less loneliness. You may be able to help

this lady get involved, but not if she is enraged at your perceived infidelity! Only you know if you led this lady to believe she was the special person in your life. A Don Juan character may have been in vogue in the past, but HONESTY is the name of the game now. Dear Goldie: I was married at 20, had a baby girl and then my husband left me. He said he wanted to be free of responsibility, but soon married a lady with four children. He had no further contact with us. Now, my daughter is married and has two beautiful children – a boy and a girl. Suddenly, her father has appeared on the scene demanding to spend time with his grandchildren. She reminded him that he was never part of her life and he has apologized. My daughter still feels bitter. I understand, but worry about the outcome, including the impact on the children. –V.P. Dear V.P.: This situation has evolved over many years and won’t be resolved quickly or without effort. It would be beneficial for everyone if a counsellor were involved.

A clinical counsellor could establish a plan, and volunteer counsellors could continue to work with the family. It would be necessary for you, your daughter and your ex-husband to agree to attend the sessions. You would probably meet together with the counsellor in the beginning and then have separate sessions. I am pleased that you wrote about this problem because it indicates you want change. No matter how badly we are hurt in these situations, healing can take place. You need a good counsellor to guide the process. Don’t delay! SL

SENIOR PEER COUNSELLING CENTRES Victoria 250-382-4331 Duncan 250-748-2133 Nanaimo 250-754-3331 Sidney 250-655-4402 Courtenay/Comox 250-334-9917 Salt Spring Island 250-537-4607 Port Hardy 250-949-5110

Goldie Carlow is a retired registered nurse, clinical counsellor and senior peer counselling trainer.

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SENIOR LIVING

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VER U O C VAN AND ISL ON I EDIT

To Move or Not to Move? A Helpful Guide for Seniors Considering Their Residential Options

To Move or Not to Move?

To Move or Not to Move? A Helpful Guide for Seniors Considering Their Residential Options

MAGAZINE

Published by Senior Living October 2007

14.95 Buy it now!

REG. PRICE: $

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9.95

If you are a senior who has been wondering lately whether you should consider moving - either because you find the maintenance of your current home more difficult due to diminishing ability or energy, or you simply want a lifestyle that allows you more freedom and less responsibility - then this is the book that can help you ask the right questions and find the solution that is right for you. • What residential options are available? • Define your current situation - What residential option is right for you? • How to research and assess Independent and Assisted Living residences. • What do Independent, Assisted Living and Complex Care facilities have to offer? • How much does it cost to live in an Assisted Living residence? What subsidies are available? • Thinking of moving in with family members? Questions to consider before making your decision. • Are there any other residential options besides Independent, Assisted Living and Complex Care facilities? • If you choose to stay in your own home, what are your options and what should you plan for? • Who can help you decide what you can or cannot afford? • Funding sources available to seniors - tax deductions, housing subsidies, home care subsidies, equipment loan programs, renovation grants, etc. • Selling your home - how to find the right realtor or relocation services to assist your move. • Downsizing - Where do you start? How do you proceed? • Adapting your home to meet your mobility needs - tips and suggestions • Hiring home care services; do it yourself or hire an agency? • Legal matters - how to make sure you receive the care you desire should you not be able to communicate due to some incapacitating condition • AND MUCH MORE Advice from professionals who are experts in the area of assisting seniors with their relocation

questions and concerns. A handy reference guide for seniors and their families wrestling with the issues around whether relocation is the best option. This 128-page book provides helpful, easy to read information and suggestions to help seniors and their families understand the decisions they need to make.

ORDER FORM - “To Move” Name_______________________________________________ Address_____________________________________________ City_________________________________ Prov ___________ Postal Code_______________ Phone _____________________

___ CHEQUE (make payable to Senior Living) ___ CREDIT CARD

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CARD NUMBER _________________________________________ EXPIRY DATE ________________ NAME ON CARD ________________________________________

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Mail to: “To Move” Book Offer c/o Senior Living Box 153, 1581–H Hillside Ave., = $____________ Victoria BC V8T 2C1

____ BOOKS @ $9.95 each

SHIPPING $3.95 FIRST BOOK, $1.95 PER ADDITIONAL BOOK = $____________ SUBTOTAL

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Shipping rates apply to British Columbia addresses ONLY. To have book mailed to addresses outside of BC, please call Senior Living 250-479-4705 for shipping costs. Please allow 2 weeks for shipping.

Books may also be purchased at these locations:

• Home Instead #222 - 1595 McKenzie Ave, Victoria (250-382-6565) • Medichair Victoria 1856 Quadra St. (250-384-8000) • Medichair Nanaimo 2517 Bowen Rd. (250-756-9875) • Medichair Duncan #6, 2628 Beverly St. (250-709-9939) Munro’s Books 1108 Gov’t. St., Victoria (250-382-2464) • Paradise Isle Senior Centre 1013 Victoria Cres., Nanaimo (250-754-9566) JULY/AUGUST 2008

27


STORY AND PHOTO BY JUDY STAFFORD

T

he dew is thick on the morning grass. The warm caress of the sun makes it feel right to reach down into the earth and pluck up fresh, young greens. An unsuspecting slug is hastily scooped up and deposited outside the vegetable garden. Gail Richards, her daughter Adrienne, and her grandson Caelan are at home weeding the garden that bursts with its summer bounty. It’s a quiet, calm and unassuming spot to be on a gorgeous Saturday morning. This extended family has just returned from their weekly trip to the two local Duncan Farmers’ Markets. Eating local, healthy, organic food is important to Gail, and has been for a long time. “When I was in Vancouver in 1970, a new health food store opened. I had never heard of organic food before I came to B.C.,” she says. “So, when this restaurant opened, we used to go all the time. It was my introduction to organic food and a different way of eating and it was totally incredible.” Gail took her life-long passion for eating great food and co-created the book, From Farm to Feast: Recipes and Stories from Saltspring and the Southern Gulf Islands, with Kevin Snook. It was a labour of love. “I fell in love with farmers and the whole idea of the beautiful, loving, sacred act of growing food and taking care of the earth. At an organic growers’ meeting, I met Kevin. He’s a chef and he asked if I wanted to write a book about food. He had previously written a cookbook, so I said, ‘sure.’” “But, of course, my idea was different,” says Gail. “I had 28

SENIOR LIVING

Growing the Garden Within written a lot of articles about farming and factory farming, so I wanted it to be a book about farmers. We compromised. I interviewed the farmers and wrote about agriculture, [Kevin] did the recipes and the beautiful pictures.” In 1998, Gail was ahead of her time taking on food issues and the importance of eating locally and supporting the province’s farmers, so, From Farm to Feast is now out of print. Today, food security is a prevalent issue, hitting mainstream media with developing-country food wars and the current work being done globally relative to sustainability issues. According to Cowichan Green Community, a non-profit environmental organization in Duncan, 90 per cent of Vancouver Island’s food is imported and the local farming industry is at risk. One farmer recently spoke at a food security workshop and he wanted to declare farmers as endangered species. With a high level of environmental awareness and a self-proclaimed outdoor person, these issues are close to Gail’s heart. “I was raised outdoors,” she says. “When I was growing up, we lived in cabins by lakes and we spent a lot of time outside. My Dad was in the military so we moved around a lot. He was an outdoor person, so I spent my childhood fishing and in the woods.” Since her childhood, Gail has lived in a wild assortment of interesting places – from an abandoned settlement in northern B.C. to a Wells Fargo Office in an old mining town in the Colorado Mountains. She’s lived on both Galiano and Saltspring Islands. Over the years, she earned her “bread-and-butter money” do-


ing a fascinating array of jobs, many of the more gratifying ones unpaid. She spent months successfully lobbying against aerial spraying of the Gypsy Moths on Saltspring. She’s been a teacher, a writer, led workshops on wild edibles and medicinal edibles, and helped research for a book, Atlas of the Salish Sea, an economic map of the islands. She remains an advocate for the planet. “Soil is so important. If you listen to some people talk about this soil, when they pick it up and hold it in their hands, you can tell they love it. When you taste the food that comes from their land, you know the love that has gone into it,” says Gail. “Even though it’s hard work, they wouldn’t give that life over for anything. They get very little for what they grow.” Gail always loved the food that came out of her father’s garden. “It was much better than the canned food that was so popular at the time. To me, those are the important things in life; food is important and appreciating food is very important.” Gail’s passion for what she believes extends into all areas of her life. “I’ve come to have my own understanding about life,” she says. “I feel the public school system is almost aimed at taking the mystery and sacredness and awesomeness out of life – to explain it all away. And because I really believe in that sacredness and awesomeness of life, I didn’t want to put my kids in that venue.” Gail opted for alternative education systems for as long as she could and lived accordingly to bring her family closer to those options. She describes her life as contentious, but others call her a free spirit in the right place at the right time. Her place now is a modest fourth floor apartment that overlooks several majestic treetops and the glorious, beckoning mountains in the distance. She recently moved to Duncan from Saltspring to be closer to her grandchildren, Evan and Caelan, and start fresh. “I moved to the Cowichan Valley and, so far, I find it beautiful and interesting and it’s full of people who love it here. There are a lot of people into food issues. But to be perfectly frank, I’ve gotten to a point when I need to do stuff for myself.” Gail’s current challenge is to work on her internal spiritual side in the Eastern tradition. “There are a lot of blocks in me and, you know, it’s like looking at a piece of earth – the garden. You can see the potential if you are looking at a garden for production and creativity and beauty and all that can become of that particular environment. I look at myself as that environment and I want to be able to see the potential for new life, and creativity, and fruitfulness and joy coming from this environment that is me. It’s harder than any garden I’ve ever grown.” Introspection may be difficult for Gail, but from the outside, her beauty, serenity and peacefulness exude – and inspire. SL The years ahead are sure to be bountiful.

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29


Retracing Roman Footsteps H

olland America billed our cruise as a tour of the Roman Empire, but it was a far cry from the sort of voyage a Roman traveller might have taken. Our ship was a black-hulled behemoth named the Westerdam and all it had in common with the overcrowded little vessels of ancient Rome was the Mediterranean sea upon which they sailed. But the cruise did touch ports that had all once been within the imperial embrace of Rome, and so, on day one, my wife and I arrived at Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci airport, ready to follow the footsteps of the Roman legions, and visit the seaports where Roman quinqueremes [ancient oar-propelled warships] once docked. As the starting point of a cruise, Rome suffers from a shortcoming. It has no harbour. It never did have a satisfactory one, though the emperor Claudius whom the TV series I, Claudius gave a moment of fame, built one at the mouth of the Tiber River. But it soon silted up, and a second attempt by a later emperor, Trajan, suffered a similar fate. Ancient Rome’s main port was Pozzuoli on the Gulf of Naples, next door to Naples where the garbage collectors were on strike, and better known nowadays as Sophia Loren’s birthplace. But, today, cruises board ship at Civitavecchia, an hour and a half by bus, north of Rome. The Blue Guide, which is the best guidebook to this

STORY AND PHOTOS BY JAMES ALLAN EVANS

part of the world, calls Civitavecchia a dismal city, and so it is, but it is satisfactorily distant from Naples with its heaps of garbage piling up for lack of a dump site, and obstruction by the Mafia. The Westerdam slipped away from her moorings at nightfall, and was sailing by next morning past the volcanic island of Stromboli where the subterranean fires of southern Italy emerge to the surface. At the Strait of Messina, where the toe of Italy seems perpetually poised to kick Sicily, a pilot came on board to guide our ship through the channel, for here the ancient Greeks imagined that the monsters Scylla and Charybdis lurked to prey on sailors. We passed through safely, and another day’s sailing brought us to Dubrovnik in Croatia, which has emerged from the breakup of Yugoslavia as a popular tourist destination, particularly if you need dental work, for Croatian dentists are well-trained and comparatively cheap. Empires have passed this way, leaving their footprints behind. The Roman Empire in its declining years split into eastern and western halves with the boundary line cutting through the Balkans, and it has been a fault line ever since; Croatia is west of it and Serbia to the east. The eastern Roman Empire evolved into the Byzantine Empire, which succumbed to the Turks in 1453. Then, it was the turn of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and then the imperial Soviet Union, which has now fallen like its predecessors. Dubrovnik has survived remarkably well, though not without scars. It is a gem of a city, with pleasant cafés on its main square where tired feet may rest a while. Next stop, Corfu, or Kerkyra, as Greece calls it, resurrecting its ancient name. Britain took Corfu from Napoleon and held it until 1863, when she presented it to Greece as a coronation gift for King George I. The Greeks had just voted overwhelm-

Above, This is the little round temple of Hercules the Victor is the oldest surviving temple in Rome dating from the 2nd century BCE. Left, The Aurelian Wall at Rome, which the emperor Aurelian (270-275) built (or at least began building) to protect the city of Rome from Goths who were invading Italy. 30

SENIOR LIVING

Next page, The remains of the theatre of Dionysos in Athens, Greece where the great tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides were performed, as well as the ribald comedies of Aristophanes. The theatre is directly under the south side of the Acropolis.


ingly for the second son of Queen Victoria as their king, but that would have upset the murky world of diplomacy, and the Greeks had to accept a teenage prince from Denmark instead, along with the gift of the Ionian Islands to make the substitute more palatable. Yet, British influence subsists; the Corfiotes still play cricket and, in the city centre, there is a cricket ground, which was empty while our ship was in port. Leaving Corfu behind, we sailed to Katakolon, a port of no great importance until the cruise ships discovered it, for a short bus trip away is the ancient Olympia, where Heracles founded the Olympic Games if you believe mythology. The list of ancient Olympic victors goes back to 776 BCE. Olympia is a magnet for tourists, but it is well cared-for, and the round shrine, which Alexander the Great built to honour his father Philip of Macedon and the Macedonian royal house has been partially restored since I last visited the site. The Olympic stadium hardly lives up to its reputation, for it is simply two grassy banks on either side of the racetrack, and since the Olympic Games were held in the hot, dry midsummer, the grass would be brown and sparse. Next stop, Santorini, or Thira, to give it its official name, for “Santorini” is the name given it by the Venetians, who once upon a time fought the Turks in these waters. The harbour of Santorini is the caldera of an active volcano. In the middle is an island of cinders, and when I first visited Santorini in 1955, I rowed over to it with a group of fellow students.

»

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31


The fumaroles were smoking impressively, but we sensed no danger. The next year, however, the volcano erupted, making the island of cinders considerably larger. It was an earlier eruption about 1500 BCE – radiocarbon dating gives an approximate timeframe – that made Santorini what it is now: the remains of a circular volcanic island, which exploded into a gigantic cloud of dust and debris, leaving only a crescentshaped remnant of the caldera rim. Phira, the main town of the island, perches on top of the rim and a winding donkey path connects it with the harbour below. Once upon a time, when an earlier generation of tourists visited Santorini, they could to get to Phira either by climbing the winding pathway

������������������������� ��������������������� ����������� ����������������������������������� ����������������������������������

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SENIOR LIVING

or riding on the back of a long-suffering donkey. Now, there is also a cable car. But donkey rides are still available and the peevish temper of the donkeys has been, in no way, improved by the competition. Santorini’s ancient volcanic eruption intrigues vulcanologists, for the only modern eruption on the same scale took place in 1814 at the island of Tambora in Indonesia. The dust cloud from Tambora filtered the sunlight enough to lower the average world temperature the following year by one degree – enough in some regions to cause crop failure. What happened in prehistoric Greece when the dust clouds from Santorini’s eruption filtered the sunlight? South of Santorini lies Crete where there was, at the time, a remarkable civilization that archaeologists have called “Minoan” after a mythical king Minos, whose wife gave birth to the Minotaur, half-man and half-bull. How did the eruption affect the Minoans? Perhaps Minoan Crete could have been the prototype of ancient Atlantis, which according to a myth told by the philosopher Plato was overwhelmed by earthquakes and floods. This much we do know: there was a Minoan settlement on Santorini, and most of its inhabitants escaped safely, leaving their houses for modern archaeologists to discover, engulfed by debris. But it is unlikely that the eruption caused the collapse of a civilization. Natural catastrophes like volcanic eruptions and earthquakes rarely do. The survivors lick their wounds, rebuild their homes, and carry on. Kusadasi was the only Turkish port the Westerdam visited. Nearby is Efes, ancient Ephesus. Beyond its walls was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the great Temple of Artemis of Ephesus, or Diana of the Ephesians as the Acts of the Apostles calls it. All that can be seen is one broken column rising from a pond, for the water table has risen and flooded the site. But while my wife visited Ephesus, I headed for three other ancient cities, one of them Priene, a city built shortly before Alexander the Great conquered Persia. It was a carefully planned city, with houses laid out in blocks and a marketplace in the city centre, surrounded by colonnades. The second site was Didyma, where a vast temple housed an oracle, which continued to attract pilgrims long after the chattering classes of the ancient world ceased to believe oracular prophecies. And last, we came to one of the truly great cities of ancient Greece, Miletus, once a flourishing port, but now a dismal ruin, its port silted up. All that is impressive is its vast Roman theatre. Yet, long before the Turks invaded Asia Minor, this region was Greek Ionia, where western science and philosophy began. No Greeks live there today. But offshore, easily visible from the Turkish mainland, lay the Dodecanese Islands, the “Twelve Islands,” which did eventually become part of modern Greece, but only after the Second World War. We were near the end of the cruise. After Kusadasi, the next stop was the port of Athens, Piraeus. The day was clear, the sun bright, and it was too early in the year for the cloud of air pollution that hangs over modern Athens in the summer. We reached


Athens in May; two months later, record-high temperatures would prostrate the city. Tourists swarmed over the Acropolis, which rises above the city, crowned with the goddess Athena’s temple, the Parthenon. The endless chore of restoring it continues; the chief task, now, is to correct the ravages of previous restorations. Athens has a new subway, which is clean, efficient and graffiti-free. But the tourists come to see the ancient monuments. Mars Hill, a rocky outcrop on the slope of the Acropolis is worn smooth by the feet of pilgrims visiting the places where St. Paul preached and, since I last saw it, a wooden platform has been built over it for safety’s sake. Last stop, Messina in Sicily, where we climbed Mt. Etna. Or, at least, we drove by bus up the mountainside on narrow roads where bottlebrush bushes bloomed, to the line where the lava flow from the latest eruption stopped, halted by the prayers of the Sicilians. The Sicilians made two attempts to hold back the lava with their prayers. The first was a jolly party, according to our guide, who may have been a participant herself, but the cardinal of Palermo upbraided the merry supplicants, and ordered them to try again. They obeyed, beseeching Heaven seriously this time, and the lava stopped. But the underground fires of Etna are never exhausted for long. They continue to threaten destruction. And, so then we headed back to the Westerdam, where we sailed to Civitavecchia and boarded a bus that took us through SL the Tuscan countryside to Leonardo Da Vinci airport.

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33


Scooting Photo: Cathy Reed

BY JOSEPHINE J. REED

Y

ou might think, as I did before I bought my scooter: “I don’t need one of those things yet.” I have a car, which I still drive sometimes, and a walker, which I use occasionally, but I have found a scooter to be extremely useful. Although I was an enthusiastic walker well into my 80s, I gradually found I could only walk or stand for short periods due to spinal stenosis. This meant that shopping was a problem. When I drove my car, finding somewhere to park near my destination was often difficult, and walking or standing for any length of time was uncomfortable. So, I was missing many things I had always enjoyed. Now I have a scooter, and instead of missing out, I am discovering more. I’ve found that a scooter is a wonderfully comfortable way of getting around, and I can still do all my errands and go to my favourite places. I scoot along happily to events like the Moss Street Artwalk, the start of Swiftsure, events at the Art Gallery, and to outdoor markets and garage sales. And I enjoy each season of the beautifully cared-for gardens at Government House and the music on the lawn on summer evenings, seated on my scooter with my picnic supper. 34

SENIOR LIVING

The Dallas Road walking path is a particularly smooth ride, with friendly people and their dogs, plus little kids in their buggies, happy to see someone at their own level. And you can’t beat Dallas Road for fresh sea air and glorious scenery, including the colourful paragliders and kite surfers. If you’re a photographer, you can manoeuvre your scooter to try various distances and angles without having to move from your seat. I’ve discovered concerts in Beacon Hill Park, lovely among the tall trees, and even when the music isn’t your favourite kind, you can watch all the little toddlers dancing on the grass below the stage. Then there’s the petting zoo, where the kids (young children) and the kids (baby goats) are highly entertaining. And how about that concert to end all concerts – the Symphony Splash? No need to chain a chair somewhere along the water the evening before. When I arrive, I’m already in my seat. Shopping at the mall is no problem either, as long as I make sure there is room to turn around and don’t bump into displays. I like driving around the aisles and being close enough to enjoy the colours and textures. At the library, I can look at books in a leisurely way without having to rush because


I can’t stand a moment longer. Wherever I go, people seem happy to assist with elevators and doors. One piece of advice: before you go out, check the weather and dress appropriately. Wear a hat, scarf, gloves and boots on windy days, and protect yourself from the sun if it’s hot. I like to wear bright clothes on the scooter to be more visible. Be sure to make yourself as comfortable as possible, perhaps with an extra pillow. A cover for the handlebar basket is also a good idea to protect any shopping collected along the way. When you decide to purchase a scooter, there’s a great selection. As with cars, there are luxury models and perfectly good secondhand ones. Try them before settling on one you can easily manage. I found the vendors to be helpful. Scooters can go about eight kilometres an hour and will go between 15 and 20 hours on a fully charged battery. When you’re out and about, be careful of curbs, some of which are smoother than others. You’ll find that some streets are bumpy and difficult to navigate, while others are smooth and will become your favourite routes. Victoria is one of the most beautiful scooting cities in the country. Above all, be like Ferdinand, and stop and smell the flowSL ers along the way. Happy scooting!

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HOME SUPPORT SERVICES DIRECTORY A concise reference guide of services and products offered by businesses and organizations on Vancouver Island that make it easier for seniors to stay longer in their own homes.

Moving? Downsizing?

Live safely and independently in your own home www.bclifeline.com

Contact the program nearest you. Victoria Lifeline 1-888-832-6073 Eldersafe Support Services 1-866-457-8987

South Vancouver Island and Ladysmith

Nanaimo Lifeline Program (250)739-5770 or (250)947-8213 Mid Island, Cassidy to Bowser

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• Companionship • Meal Prep. • Housekeeping • Shopping • Errands • Respite & Personal Care

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36 SENIOR LIVING Call today for a free in-home assessment

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TO LIST YOUR BUSINESS IN THIS DIRECTORY, CALL 250-479-4705

• ECONOMICAL • 12-MONTH EXPOSURE •


&

Courageous s u o e g a r t Ou Attitudes of Living Agelessly

BY PAT NICHOL

Photo: Frances Litman

H

ave you ever looked in the mirror in the morning and been shocked at the person who looked back at you? Who is that person? How did they get into my bathroom? And why are there deep circles around the eyes and wrinkles on the cheeks? Something happened during the night, because I don’t look the same – something was stolen from me and I don’t like it! A story is told by Richard Johnson of a lovely 83-year-old woman he was interviewing. She commented on the number of old people at church that morning and when her son suggested that she was old, as well, she was shocked. “I never thought of myself as old; I just thought I was all right.” Our culture sees aging as wrong; somehow, we shouldn’t be doing it. I know I have asked this before, but here it is again: “If you didn’t know how old you were, how old would you be? What is the first number that comes to mind?”

I guarantee 97 per cent of us would give a number at least 20 years less than the number on our birth certificates. The number on your birth certificate is only the number of times you have circumnavigated the sun. If you are like me, you have more strength, vitality and joy in life as you discover the gifts aging brings. Rather than doing something wrong, I am doing a whole lot of things right and exploring new ways to do and be every day. Don’t confuse youthfulness with youth. We all know people who are 90 and have the vitality of someone who is 40 and, conversely, people who are 35 who have the mindset and the attitude of a curmudgeon. I have nothing against age. But I never want to ACT old. I just want to be all right. In order to be youthful, we must be willing to be mature. In order to be youthful, we must be willing to live agelessly, every minute, every day. In order to be youthful, be thankful for all of the gifts that come to you beSL cause you are ALL RIGHT too!

Pat Nichol is a speaker and published author. She makes her home in Victoria, but travels the world. She can be reached at www.patnichol.com

JULY/AUGUST 2008

37


Crossword PUZZLE

Mind GAMES

Across 1. Oldest 7. Surveillance device 11. Distributed cards 12. Unicellular organisms 14. Input data again 15. Increase in size 16. Float through the air 17. Unsuccessful car 18. Mary ----, women’s educational pioneer 19. Very dry champagne 20. The power to reject 22. Petroleum engineer 23. Turn with the wind behind you 26. Hang suspended in the air 28. Cut of meat 31. Always 32. Gossip 33. Tossed 34. Portable bed

Down 37. Attack 38. Foot-wear 39. Yielded 41. Project 43. Song in praise of God 44. Unit of weight in gemstones 45. Venture 46. Dull 47. The wise men 49. Over-promotion 52. Mown grass 54. City in central Belgium 57. Sullen 58. Malay dagger with a wavy blade 59. Accident 60. Female monsters 61. Stinking 62. Temperate 63. Tied up

1. Reward 2. Quercuses 3. Arm cover 4. Genre 5. Agile 6. Cavalry soldier 7. Bovine locators 8. Emperor of Russia 9. Beancurd 10. Winemaking stage 11. Remove silt from river 13. Holder 15. Dimness 21. Dull sound 24. Unappetizing 25. Shrubby plant 27. Elector 29. Alphabet board 30. Become liable for 35. Offered 36. Goat’s milk cheese 38. Realm 39. Nightclub 40. Imprecates 42. Tried out 44. Horseshoe cleats 45. Automatic caller 48. Faux pas 50. Person who practices yoga 51. Knitting stitch 53. Learned 55. Stringed instrument 56. Slip ANSWERS

38

SENIOR LIVING


Classifieds COLLECTOR SEEKING vintage/collectable cameras, binoculars and microscopes. Nikon, Leica, Contax, Rolleiflex, Zeiss, Canon, etc. Mike (250)3836456 or email: msymons6456@telus.net HOME INSTEAD SENIOR CARE - Do you need a little assistance? Meal preparation, light housekeeping, laundry, shopping, errands, or respite. We also hire seniors. Call 382-6565.

THE BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU of Vancouver Island is located at 220-1175 Cooks St., Victoria BC V8V 4A1. Toll-free phone line for Up-Island 1877-826-4222 (South Island dial 386-6348). www. bbbvanisland.org E-mail: info@bbbvanisland.org WANTED: OLD POSTCARDS, stamp accumulations, and pre-1950 stamped envelopes. Also buying old coins, medals and badges. Please call Michael 652-9412 or email fenian@shaw.ca HAIRSTYLIST has a private and comfortable studio in her Sidney home. Christine offers a full, professional service. Special senior rates. Please call 8224247. CERTIFIED GENTLE THERAPEUTIC YOGA. Customized safe, effective stress relief. Improve balance, strength, mobility. Sliding scale. 14 years experience. Amy 665-6562.

Make your retirement dream come true

FOR SALE at Fisherman’s Wharf, Victoria BC. Charming 47ft. Houseboat, marine certified, professionally renovated inside and out. Large cedar deck with stunning views over Inner Harbour. Suitable for single or couple. Exceptional lifestyle. Funky and very pet friendly. Walk, shop, dine or sail – all steps away. Moorage fee: $640 per month. Price: $175,000. Most affordable entry to this community. Turnkey or unfurnished – your choice. Tel: (250) 415-8063. dchicanot@gmail.com TIRED OF WINTER? Malaysia My Second Home Passport to a better lifestyle

For more information about this unique opportunity to invest and own a retirement home in Sunny Malaysia.

Ann Lester 250-390-1805 annhlester@hotmail.com www.retiringinmalaysia.com

Sponsored by the Government of Malaysia.

SUPPLEMENT YOUR RETIREMENT and your Health. Earn $2000/ or more from home, online. Flexible hours. Training provided www.Freedom2B. com

AUTISM TO ALZHEIMERS Working with people in altered consciousness: illness, trauma, autism, memory loss, delirium, coma, grief, and other tender and strong moments in our living and dying. Ann Jacob - Stan Tomandi facilitators - consultants - educators 250-383-5677 www.comacommunication.com DOWNSIZING RETIREES. Clean, bi-level, 2 bathroom home featuring appliances, fresh neutral décor, walkout basement, and deck overlooking private yard backing onto forest. Port Hardy, near downtown amenities on Vancouver Island. Details/photos at www. bc.athomecanada.com/1069 or Elmer at (306)9498200. Asking $210,000.00. ARE YOU A SENIOR WHO WANTS TO STAY AT HOME? Are you a family member looking for care for your children or seniors? Pacific Live-in Caregivers has experienced live-in caregivers who are trained in senior and child care. www.pacificcaregivers.com or call 250-616-2346.

VANCOUVER & LOWER MAINLAND NOVEMBER 2007

RUTH M.P. HAIRSTYLING FOR SENIORS in Victoria. In the convenience of your own home! Certified Hairdresser. Call - 893-7082. SAANICH VOLUNTEER SERVICES SOCIETY seeks volunteer drivers, visitors, shoppers, gardeners. To help out your Saanich neighbor call Heather at 595-8008. ARLA SINCLAIR, M.Ed. REGISTERED CLINICAL COUNSELLOR. Results with professional, supportive, skilled counselling for life changes, illness, grief, loss, depression and relationship issues. 812-6126-1045 Linden @ Fort. BOARD MEMBERS WANTED!! To fulfill the role of Director-at-Large on the Board of Directors for a not-for-profit housing society that provides housing to adults with multiple disabilities. This volunteer position requires approximately 4-6 hours per month. Responsibilities include: attending monthly Board meetings, actively participating in committee and Board functions. For further inquiry or to apply, please contact Tammy at 383-2524. Check out our website at www.ilhs.ca.

Vancouver’s 50+ Active Lifestyle Magazine

IRONMAN RUTH HEIDRICH Running Around the World

William Allister Artist. Author. Actor.

TM

Classifieds now available in our Greater Vancouver Senior Living edition.

Call for details. 479-4705

CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING $30 for 20 words or less. $1.25 per extra word. Boxed Ad - Small (2.2 x 1.2) $95. Boxed Ad - Large (2.2 x 2.4) $180. Add Logo or color- $25 extra. Plus 5% GST. All Classified ads must be paid at time of booking. Cheque or Credit Card accepted. Ph. (250)479-4705 or toll-free 1-877-479-4705. Deadline: 15th of the month. Make cheque payable to: Senior Living, 153, 1581-H Hillside Ave., Victoria BC V8T 2C1

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JULY/AUGUST 2008

39


W NEJuly 2008 Senior Housing Guide Available

A

new edition of Senior Lifestyles – A Housing Guide for Seniors on Vancouver Island is ready for pick up at a number of locations Island-wide. This helpful guide is published semiannually by Senior Living magazine as a service to our readers in need of a reliable, comprehensive, easy-to-use guide of senior housing services and resources within the region. Now in its third year of publication, it has proven to be a popular reference for seniors and their families, and health professionals who assist seniors with their housing decisions. Numerous health units, hospitals and social service branches hand out this guide to clients who are looking for alternative housing to meet changing health and mobility needs. The guide also provides a helpful section on “Aging in Place” for people who want to spend their retirement years living in their own home, but realize they need to make adjustments to their living space, and/or hire extra help to carry out certain

functions, such as help with bathing, cooking, cleaning or doing errands, etc. Others, who decide they are ready to move into an assisted living or complex care residence, may not be able to make the move due to waiting lists. They, too, will find the “Aging in Place” section helpful in the interim. Finally, there are those who want a living arrangement that decreases their responsibilities, but don’t find communal residential options appealing. They prefer to downsize, instead, to a condominium or apartment with amenities to support their active lifestyle. In addition to decreased home and yard maintenance, they have the freedom to travel more, perhaps seasonally, knowing their home will be maintained and secure in their absence. Senior Living’s housing guide provides information and resources to direct readers to services and products to suit each living possibility. Free copies of Senior Lifestyles can be picked up at most libraries, senior centres, Royal Banks and Pharmasaves. In Vic-

toria, it can also be picked up at Hillside Centre’s magazine kiosk at the entry to the food court. It can also be ordered for the cost of $5.25 to cover postage and handling. Mail your order to Senior Living, 153, 1581-H Hillside Ave., Victoria BC V8T 2C1. As a companion to the housing guide, Senior Living also publishes a book called To Move or Not to Move – A Helpful Guide for Seniors Considering Their Residential Options. This 96-page book provides more comprehensive guidance and information to help seniors who are trying to decide whether to relocate or stay in their own home. It presents most of the housing options available to seniors, whether their choice is to move into communal housing, stay in their own home, or downsize to a more manageable property (purchase or rental). An order form for this book is on page 27. Of the 2,000 copies printed last October, over 65 per cent have sold, proving how needed this resourceful book is to the seniors in our community and their SL families.

Hydrotherapy, or water therapy, is one of the oldest, safest, and least expensive methods for treating many common ailments.

Soothes Nerves • Relaxes Muscles Overcomes Insomnia • Increases Circulation Increases Metabolism • Prevents Infection Helps Arthritis & Rheumatism Stimulates the Immune System

CUSTOMIZED INSTALLATION AVAILABLE

Enjoy the benefits of a “walk in bath”

www.serenitybaths.com

40

SENIOR LIVING

References Available From Our Satisfied Customers Call Toll Free 1-866-694-7979 for Pricing and Details about our Lifetime Warranty.


READERSHIP CLUB

Senior Discounts and Special Offers Businesses and Organizations offering Senior Discounts SenioLr ivi n MAGAZINE

and Special Offers to Readership Club members

Visit www.seniorlivingmag.com and click on READERSHIP CLUB for discount details and web links to these businesses and organizations.

READER

SENIOR

DISCO

MAGA

ng

SHIP CL U ZINE

B

UNTS & BENEF For list of Valid only at P ar participa ITS ting busi ticipating Bus nesses, visit www. inesses seniorliv in gm ag.com MEMBE R SIGNA TURE

With your FREE membership card, you can visit any of the businesses registered on the Senior Living Readership Club website and qualify for the special discount or offer listed.

ABC ENERGY WELLNESS TECHNOLOGY CO. 3931 Marjean Place, Victoria BC (250)477-9696 ART KNAPP PLANTLAND Victoria & Nanaimo, BC (250)727-9375 BODY PERFECT MEDI-SPA 200-4500 W. Saanich Rd., Victoria, BC (250)472-0400 CNIB 2340 Richmond Ave., Victoria BC (250)595-1100

HAWAIIAN TOUCH MASSAGE 643 Beach Dr., Nanaimo BC (250)755-3032

SHIMMER JEWELLERY 406-645 Fort St. Victoria BC (250)380-1333

MARITIME MUSEUM OF BC 28 Bastion Square Victoria BC (250)385-4222

SOUTH ISLAND OPTOMETRY CENTRES 3994 Shelbourne St. Victoria BC (250)477-4711

MOFFATT FINANCIAL 1914 Meredith Rd, Nanaimo BC (250)758-3131

SUNRISE SENIOR LIVING 920 Humbolt St., Victoria BC (250)383-1366

NANAIMO LIFELINE 1200 Dufferin Rd., Nanaimo BC (250)755-7691 ext 3226

VIADVENTURES.NET Vancouver Island British Columbia www.viadventures.net/

PERPETUAL PAYDAY (250)412-7100

VIDEO LINKS PRODUCTIONS 205 - 1470 Dallas Rd., Victoria BC (250)383-3195

ROLL-A-SHELF INTERNATIONAL Contact Gary Walker for more info. (250)889-5315

WINSTON’S TEA COMPANY LTD. 101-3200 Island Hwy North, Nanaimo BC (250)751-1031

MORE BUSINESSES ADDED MONTHLY

SENIOR LIVING READERSHIP CLUB APPLICATION FORM FREE membership cards available to Senior Living readers who are at least 55 years of age. Members of the READERSHIP CLUB will enjoy: • Discounts or Special Offers from registered local businesses across Vancouver Island Information provided will be held confidential by Senior Living magazine.

CRUISE HOLIDAYS NANAIMO 3150 Island Hwy., Nanaimo BC 1-800-465-7245

PLEASE PRINT CLEARLY

DRIVING MISS DAISY Serving Nanaimo, Parksville & Qualicum Beach (250)714-5980

ADDRESS _________________________________________________________________

FIT FOR RETIREMENT - CUSTOMIZED ISLAND RETREATS 955 Dirksen Road, Gabriola BC (250)247-9929

E-MAIL ADDRESS __________________________________________________________

GREAT CANADIAN OIL CHANGE 130-3200 Island Hwy North, BC (250)729-3666

NAME ___________________________________________ POSTAL CODE ________________ PHONE _____________________________________ BIRTH DATE _____________________________ (MUST BE 55 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER) Mail Application Form to: Senior Living Box 153, 1581-H Hillside Ave., Victoria BC V8T 2C1

Please allow 2 weeks for delivery of your card. JULY/AUGUST 2008

41


Happy Feet on Phillip Island I

t was the year of the penguin. First, came the endless March of the Penguins, then the dancing animated Happy Feet of more black and white tuxedo-clad birds, followed by surfer birds in Surf’s Up. So, when the opportunity presented itself for a working holiday in Melbourne, Australia, it was an obvious choice to plan to see the Little Penguins on Phillip Island, located within easy driving distance from Melbourne. Leaving exploration of “Marvellous Melbourne” until our return trip, I set out with my travel companion southeast along the coastal road to the Mornington Peninsula, and then on to the Summerland Peninsula and the penguin-viewing beach. Although the area can be reached in a two-hour 140 km freeway trip, by following the coast, we had a more leisurely drive and were able to have ocean views and see more rural Australia with the occasional wallaby among the horses and sheep. The viewing of the penguins occurs at dusk, so we sped up as the sun began to set, and luckily, because it was winter in Australia, there were no long lineups of cars and buses that could be expected during summer months (November to March). Phillip Island has several nature parks – the Koala Conservation Centre, the Nobbies Centre and Churchill Island Heritage Farm – but after crossing the bridge onto the Island,

BY AILEEN STALKER

we headed straight for the Penguin Interpretive Centre and the viewing stand. The Little Penguins (once called Fairy Penguins) live in a number of areas along the eastern coast of Australia, but this beach area is a designated reserve and has been created to protect and promote awareness of the penguins. The Centre has provided a tremendous tourist draw (over 500,000 visitors a year) and economic boost for this once farming community. So popular are the little birds (the smallest penguins of the species), a new viewing area accommodating over 1,000 people has been built. However, from that area we were told we would only get a distant view of the birds as they emerged from the water. So, we chose the more expensive Penguin Plus Parade, which meant we were with a group of about 50 people (maximum 150) and able to lean over the sides of the viewing stand and practically touch the birds as they waddled past us. The informative guides warned us to only whisper and that no touching or photographs were allowed. A collective “There they are!” and “Oh, they are so-o-o cute!” rose from even the most blasé viewers as the first birds emerged from the water and checked that it was sufficiently dark. Then, when a big enough group collected (safety in numbers apparently being their thought process), they began their awkward walk across Summerland Beach. Their feathers have a dark indigo blue sheen to them, which caught the moonlight

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SENIOR LIVING

Courtesy of Phillip Island Nature Parks

Little Penguins scuttle across the beach to their burrow homes on Phillip Island, Australia.


and contrasted with the white chests; they stood about a foot high. Although they have few enemies, other than sharks in the ocean, lack of food causes fluctuation in the number of birds living in the colonies. On land, foxes, dogs, cats, and some larger birds of prey will attack them. During winter months, fewer penguins return home each night because it is not breeding season, but the several hundred we saw were more than an adequate reward for our trip. So intent were the birds to finally get home after days and even weeks at sea searching for food, they seemed oblivious to the admiring tourists. Their sand-dune burrow homes are as far as a kilometre away and some are high up on steep hills surrounding the viewing stands. Similar to human hierarchies, the dominant penguins get the waterfront real estate and arrive home the earliest. The most memorable penguin was one that emerged towards the end of the parade. He was so tired that he flopped down on the path right beside the stand. The guide assured us he wasn’t sick, just very tired, and he had probably figured out that a quick escape under the viewing stand would make a good refuge from predators. Following the end of the parade, we resisted the lure of the gift shop, where there was every imaginable type of blue penguin object, and instead visited the Interpretive Centre. There, we saw explanations about the penguin’s life cycle, feeding habits and the history of how, nearly a century ago, they were almost destroyed. There were viewing windows into several burrows where we could see the penguins nestling in for the night. Taking their hint, my partner and I went to the local town of Cowes and easily found accommodation (the pleasure of winter travelling in Australia – booking would be essential in the summer months). And like the Little Penguins, tired and happy after doing a classically “touristy” activity, we cuddled SL up for the night.

IF YOU GO: Air Canada offers frequent flights from Vancouver to Sydney, Australia with Regional interconnecting flights to Melbourne. While it is an easy drive to Phillip Island, there are also numerous bus trips that can be arranged from Melbourne. Visit websites for “Bus tours to Phillip Island.”

Stage 1 BYLAW

Water Conservation Bylaw

Effective May 1-Sept 30 • Lawn watering is permitted two days per week as follows: - even numbered addresses may water Wednesday and Saturday from 4-10 am and 7-10 pm. - odd numbered addresses may water Thursday and Sunday from 4-10 am and 7-10 pm. • Established trees, flowers, shrubs and vegetables may be watered by hand any day and any time if watering is done by a hand-held container, a hose equipped with a shut-off nozzle, or a micro/drip irrigation system. • Established trees, flowers, shrubs and vegetables may be watered with a sprinkler any day from 4-10 am and 7-10 pm. • New sod or seeded lawns may be watered outside permitted days by special permit only.

�������������������������������������������������������

CRD Water April ad 5.12"w x 6.6"h reber creative Victoria BC 250 383-5255

Enriched Retirement Living James Bay $328,000

Courtesy of Phillip Island Nature Parks

2 BR Top Corner Penthouse Walking distance to Seawall, Shopping and Senior Centre • Services provided for monthly fee

Dave Hillmer 250-385-2033

Dave@VictoriaListings.com JULY/AUGUST 2008

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events

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NORTH ISLAND MAINSTAGE Jul 4–11

Ten exciting plays! Warning: Language, adult themes and smoking. Arms & the Man, The Good Game, A Life of the Mind, Wit, 8x10 Glossy, Criminal Hearts, Night Mother, Proposals, It Had to be You and American Buffalo. At the Port Theatre in Nanaimo, 125 Front Street. Call Ticket Centre for dates and times: 1-250754-8550. Seniors: $16 – 3 pack or $15 per show.

CELTFEST 2008 Jul 12

Celtic Performing Arts presents Sunset and Stars Gala featuring a world-class teaching faculty and stellar performers from around the world. Champion fiddlers, dancers, pipers, drummers and much more! 7:30pm at the Port Theatre in Nanaimo, 125 Front St. Tix: $36.50. 250-754-8550 www.porttheatre.com

THE KING AND I Jul 18–20

UBetcha Productions presents: Ladysmith’s Katy Bowen-Roberts as English school teacher, Anna Leonowens, and Nanaimo’s Jonee Janolino as King Mongut. 2pm and 7:30pm at the Port Theatre in Nanaimo, 125 Front St. Tix: $30 or 4 for $100. 250-754-8550 www.porttheatre. com [See story page 12]

THE NEVILLE BROTHERS Aug 15

Global Arts Concerts presents: The Nevilles! Four brothers creating some of the funkiest sounds this world has ever heard. 7:30pm at the Port Theatre in Nanaimo, 125 Front St. Tix: $60.50, Members: $56.50. 250-754-8550 www. porttheatre.com

THE ORIGINALS ONLY ART SHOW & SALE Aug 9-10

The Originals Only Art Show is a semi-annual juried art show designed to focus on the traditional fine art forms of painting, drawing and sculpture. Marina Park in Comox, 10–5 daily. www.originalsonly.ca [See page 21].

REIKI Jul and Aug

Jul 18 (7pm–9pm) & Jul 19 (10am–4pm): Reiki Level II Workshop. Aug 16 (10am–4pm): Reiki Level I Workshop. Learn the basics of Reiki;

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SENIOR LIVING

“CELEBRATING OUR OWN” Aug 16-17

An arts extravaganza on Denman Island: studio tours (18 artists of various genres), an exhibition/sale of over 50 artists, an artisans’ market, workshops, musical performances, chocolate carving (Denman Island chocolate!) and more. 10 am–4 pm. Info, call 250-335-0314.

SPEAKERS AND WORKSHOPS OSTEOPOROSIS SUPPORT GROUP Jul 7

Guest speaker Dietitian Leanne Halligy. Do you have questions about Vitamin D, calcium? Bring a friend and all your questions. We will meet at 7pm on at the James Bay New Horizons Seniors Centre, 234 Menzies. Suggested drop-in fee is $2. 250-721-0880.

MUSIC AND DANCE COOKEILIDH Jul 4

A 4-piece Celtic band playing a variety of jigs, reels, aires, waltzes and strathspeys with a Scottish, Irish and Cape Breton influence. 1:30pm–3:30 pm Cameron Bandshell, Beacon Hill Park. 250-382-0572 www.cookeilidh.com

6TH ANNUAL WHISKEY CREEK MUSIC FESTIVAL Jul 5

A tribute to the greats! Gates open at 11am, the show starts at noon. $25 admission for the entire day at the Coombs Rodeo Grounds. Camping in the rough Sat. night is free with paid admission. www.whiskeycreekmusicfestival.org

GLENN MILLER ORCHESTRA Jul 22

The legendary Glenn Miller Orchestra will perform one night only in Victoria as they tour the world, bringing timeless classics like “In the Mood,” “Moonlight Serenade,” “Chattanooga Choo Choo,” “Pennsylvania 6-5000,” “String of Pearls” and “Tuxedo Junction” back to the stage. 8pm at the Royal Theatre, 625 Fisgard St. Victoria. Tix: $56 and $69 (taxes and service fees not included). 250-386-6121. www.rmts. bc.ca

SUBSCRIPTION ORDER FORM  Yes, I would like

(Includes GST and S & H)

events

hand positions, self-care, practicing on others. Held at the Nanaimo Hospice House, 1729 Boundary Ave. 25% of proceeds go to Hospice. For information and registration: call Lynn Jetter at 250-754-4402.

Purchase a subscription to Senior Living for just $32 and never miss an issue!

to subscribe to Senior Living - Vancouver Island (10 issues). Enclosed please find my cheque for $32.

MAGAZINE

Name __________________________________________________ Address ________________________________________________ City ___________________________________________________ Province ________________ Postal Code ____________________

Mail to: Senior Living 153, 1581-H Hillside Ave., Victoria BC V8T 2C1

The cast of The Langham Court’s The Long Weekend David MacPherson, Lorene Cammiade, Wayne Yercha and Fran Patterson. The show runs July 10-26. See listing below.

THEATRE THE LONG WEEKEND Jul 10–26

Celebrate summer with us! The Langham Court presents a hilarious comedy by Norm Foster. Wed – Sat 8pm. Matinees 2pm Jul 19 and 26 at the Langham Court Theatre in Victoria, 805 Langham Crt. Tix: $15 at Box office. 250-3842142. www.langhamcourttheatre.bc.ca

MISCELLANEOUS VOLUNTEERS NEEDED! Throughout Jul & Aug

As the July 26th opening for the 2008 Sooke Fine Arts Show nears, the need for volunteers intensifies. Volunteers needed for setup and tear-down, greetings, tickets and gift shop sales etc. The Show opens July 26 and runs daily from 10am to 9pm through BC Day on Aug

To avoid disappointment, check ahead to make sure the event you want to attend is still happening. If you have an event listing seniors might like to know about, e-mail info to office@seniorlivingmag.com


events

events

events

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4, when it closes at 6pm for a private volunteer Party. Anyone wishing to volunteer, call the Sooke Fine Arts Show office at 250-642-7256.

3065. Monday and Thursday Morning Walks – Registration 8:45am, walk 9am. Call Rick at 478-7020 for current schedule.

HIROSHIMA-NAGASAKI REMEMBERED Aug 6

SUMMER NIGHTS IN ABKHAZI Throughout Jul & Aug

The annual lantern ceremony, marking the 63rd anniversary of the atomic bombing of Japan, takes place at Craigflower Park, off Admirals Road. Lantern making starts at 7:30pm with words and songs of peace at 8pm, followed by launching the lanterns in the Gorge. All welcome, free. 250-665-7788.

VICTORIA GRANDMOTHERS FOR AFRICA FUNDRAISER Sep 5–7

24 Grannies will cycle from Campbell River to Victoria to raise funds to support those in Africa raising grandchildren orphaned by AIDS. The cyclists will pedal 265 kilometres passing through Courtenay, Parksville, Nanaimo, Crofton, Salt Spring Island and the Saanich Peninsula before arriving at St. John the Divine Church, 1611 Quadra St., Victoria at 2:30 pm on Sep 7 – Grandparents Day – for a reception. To find out more about the SLF Grandmothers to Grandmothers national campaign, go to http://www. stephenlewisfoundation.org/grandmothers. htm. To sponsor a local cyclist, or for more info, contact Jocelyn Green, jocelyngreen@shaw.ca or 250-220-5329. Donations may also be made online on the SLF website, Grandmothers campaign, through Canada Helps. (Fund designation:Grandmothers, and in message box write, Victoria Grandmothers for Africa, cycle, ID# 46874). All donations are tax receiptable.

OUTDOOR EUROPEAN & CLASSIC CAR PICNIC Aug 24

The Vancouver Island Region of the Porsche Club of America hosts their annual fundraiser for the Queen Alexandra (QA) Foundation for children on the grounds of the QA Centre (2400 Arbutus Rd). Fun for everyone – unique, beautiful cars, BBQ, imagination craft station, bouncy castle, magic shows, Tom Thumb Safety Village and a silent auction. Admission by donation. 250-477-8914. www.queenalexandra.org

BIRTHDAY BASH! Aug 9

The Chemainus Valley Cultural Arts Society presents a BC birthday bash! Musicians, storytelling, dancers in celebration of BC’s 150th Birthday. 2–4:30pm, Waterwheel Park, Chemainus. By donation. 250-246-9898.

GARDEN CITY WANDERERS Throughout Jul

Jul 6 – 5/10km walk and picnic. Meet at Beaver Lake, Picnic/Beach Area. Registration 9:30am, walk 10am. Call Murray at 721-3065. Jul 26 – 5/10km walk. Meet in Kinsmen Gorge Park, off Tillicum Rd. Registration 9:30am walk 10am. Call Wendy at 598-9390. Tuesday Evening Walks – Meet at Running Room, Broadmead Shopping Centre, 777 Royal Oak Drive. Registration 5:45pm, walk 6pm. Call Gail at 4774472. Wednesday Evening Walks – Meet at Harbour Towers Hotel, 345 Quebec St. Registration 5:45pm, walk 6pm. Call Murray at 721-

Prepare to be entranced by the garden in the evening light, enticed by the selection of sweet and savory offerings from our restaurant and entertained by an array of local musicians. Abkhazi Garden will open every Wednesday night at 6pm. The entrance fee is by donation (suggest donation is $10). Musicians begin at 7pm, seating is limited so consider bringing your own chair or blanket. 1964 Fairfield Rd, Victoria. 250-598-8096. www.abkhazi.com

events

ART GALLERY HOUSE TOUR Sep 7

Plan now to visit seven of Victoria’s finest homes celebrating 100 years of grand design from two Rattenbury homes to 2008 architectdesigned modern homes. Our special “Art in the Gardens” features talented local painters at work in the gardens of each home. The tour takes place the first Sunday in September with proceeds supporting Gallery programs. Tix: $30. www.aggv.bc.ca 250-384-4101.

2ND ANNUAL WATERGARDEN TOUR Jul 12

The West Shore is once again home to the Luxton Station Market. The market will be open for business on Saturdays from 10am–2pm at the Luxton Fairgrounds, 1040 Marwood Ave, Langford. For more details about upcoming special events, check the market web page at www. luxtonstationmarket.ca or 250-507-5767.

For The Love Of Africa Society presents a selfguided tour of 10 of Victoria’s finest water gardens. Garden designers and specialist present at each site, live harp music beside each garden, and afternoon tea served at the last garden. Tix: $20 available at all Dig This Stores, Art Knapp stores, Gardenworks, as well as Better Gnomes and Gardens, and Cannor Nurseries. All proceeds go toward supplying medical equipment and pharmaceuticals for Nkuhungu Medical Clinic in Tanzania. 250-544-2177. www.fortheloveofafrica.org

THE PENINSULA HERITAGE FAIR Jul 5

ARTISTIC BRUSH-UP Aug 10

LUXTON STATION MARKET Until Oct 4

See how things were done 100 years ago! Butter churning, cheese making, carding and spinning, needlework, blacksmithing and more! Plus, entertainment by local artists, Vintage Car Display, Horse-Drawn Carriages, Historical Skits, Videos and Movies of Local History. Open 10am–6pm on the corner of Polo Park Crescent and East Saanich Road in Downtown Saanichton. www.saanichpioneersociety.org

ART ART & PHOTOGRAPHY IN THE GARDEN Jul 19–20

Meet, mingle and be inspired by 24 local artists at work. Live music and refreshments. 10am –5pm (last entry at 4:30pm) at Milner Gardens and Woodland in Qualicum Beach, 2179 West Island Hwy. 250-752-8573.

SOOKE FINE ARTS SHOW Jul 26–Aug 4

The show will feature a Bistro, live music, a gift shop and special events such as teas, wine tastings and children’s events. 10am–9pm at the SEAPARC Leisure Complex – 2168 Phillips Rd, Sooke. Tix: $5. www.sookefinarts.com

NEW RELEASE

The Oak Bay Community Artists Society is hosting their annual artistic and environmental event again this year along Bowker Creek. Members of the Oak Bay artist community will be exhibiting and selling their art on Bowker Creek Walk Way between Hampshire and Oak Bay High School. 11am–4:30pm. Maps and Brochures are available at libraries, art supply stores and recreation centres. 250-592-0832.

VISIONS ART STUDIO TOUR Jul 4–13

Visions Art Studio Tour throughout the Cowichan Valley, 10am–4pm. Free admission for this self-guided tour of 24 studios with 37 artists and artisans. For maps and information call 250-709-9927 or visit www.visionsarttour.ca

STINKING FISH STUDIO TOUR Jul 26–Aug 4

The artists of Metchosin and East Sooke open their studios for the summer Stinking Fish Studio Tour. A self-guided tour of the studios of 26 artists, working in the fine arts of pottery, painting, printmaking, sculpture, mosaic, fabric, floral, woodwork, photography and metal. Open 10am–5pm daily. 250-474-2676 or www.stinkingfishstudiotour.com

Embrace the Journey - A Care Giver’s Story

by Valerie Green The very personal story of her own journey as a care giver to her elderly parents. This is a story which will touch many hearts and be relevant for numerous adult children who, in mid-life, are faced with a similar challenge and must make agonizing decisions and choices. It painfully addresses the problems encountered of ‘aging in place’ and the desire for loving couples to stay together in their home until the end of their lives. 96 pages. Softcover. 5.5” x 8.5” Published by Senior Living. Price $14.95

To order, please send cheque for $19.84 ($14.95 plus $3.95 S&H & GST) payable to Senior Living. MAIL TO: Embrace Book Offer c/o Senior Living 153, 1581-H Hillside Ave., Victoria BC V8T 2C1 Please include your clearly written shipping address and phone number. Allow two weeks for shipping. JULY/AUGUST 2008

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VOLUNTEER

TOUR de FORCE BY TIFFANY AUVINEN

L

Photo: Tiffany Auvinen

ouise Strand-Russell believes in living life to its fullest. The 82 year old has had numerous careers, but she says getting involved in community activities contributes to her overall happiness. “It wasn’t common for women to have a career in my era, but I was fortunate to get involved in a variety of careers,” says Louise. Her first work experience, at age 18, was as a driver for the Canadian Women’s Army Core in 1944. She travelled throughout the country for 18 months. Later, Louise spent 29 years teaching home economics in Manitoba before moving to British Columbia to become an activity director for elder care centres in various communities. “I really enjoyed keeping seniors active and facilitating activities for them,” she says. A funny incident happened to Louise when she organized a pub lunch for some of the seniors: “A tall man had to use the bathroom and he’d recently had a stroke, so I offered to assist him. And then he fell. Accidentally, I fell on top of him,” Louise says. “We didn’t tell anyone at the seniors’ home, but we laughed about it for months afterward.” When Louise retired in 1991, she couldn’t sit still, so she decided to volunteer for the Canadian Cancer Society. “I have a huge incidence of cancer in my family,” she says. “By becoming a volunteer, I was able to provide services and help to cancer patients.” She nursed her brother while he was going through his cancer journey. “I spent 12 hours each day with my brother for one month, and gave water and blankets to the other patients in hospice at the same time,” says Louise. “In 2000, 46 46

SENIORLIVING LIVING SENIOR

my brother passed away, but we grew very close during that experience.” She is also responsible for bringing the Canadian Cancer Society’s Cops for Cancer campaign to Vancouver Island, which later led to the well-known Tour de Rock event. She has been instrumental in the success of the campaign, which, in the past 10 years, has raised over $10 million for childhood cancer research and programs supporting children and their families. Louise even shaved her head for the special anniversary in 2007. Being active in non-profit organizations has always been part of Louise’s life. In the 1930s, she was the President of the Junior Red Cross, in a rural community outside of Winnipeg, when she was only 11 years old. “I helped people who were far less fortunate than people today,” she says. “The 1930s were a very difficult time, and I played a role in promoting healthy living, just like I do now with various organizations.” Today, Louise is a member of the Maritimer’s Club in Duncan, a regional volunteer for the Canadian Cancer Society and


she volunteers for the Seniors Resource and Support Society of Cowichan Valley. Not only does she volunteer, but she also recruits volunteers. She’s currently seeking volunteers for the North American Indigenous Games, an event where more than 6,000 individuals will gather to play sports and celebrate Indigenous culture [ed. note: see story page 16]. When Louise isn’t planning community events or fundraisers, she loves to travel and, in the past year, has visited her sisters in South Carolina and Texas. “My best trip was travelling to Norway in 2000, where I met with many of my family members.” And her family keeps her busy. Louise bakes cookies with her grand-nieces, e-mails funny messages to her four greatgrandchildren, and takes regular walks with her dog Teddy. She believes people need to stay busy. “Get out of the house,” she recommends. “Get active in the community. Go to the seniors’ centre or get a pet.” She also enjoys painting, baking and playing in her garden. “Networking through the Internet on my computer is fun as well. I use my computer to keep track of what everyone is doing through Facebook (www.facebook.com), an [online] social network.” Last year, Louise was presented with the Tour de Rock jersey by all of the riders during one of the many celebration events. “That’s when I really felt like I achieved something.” SL

Call for Research Participants: Responsibility for Aging Parents Across Cultures Do you: Live in the Victoria/Duncan area and have a parent(s) over 60, in the area, for whom you provide at least three hours a week of support or care (including for example, emotional, financial, or task support or help)? If so: We would like to invite you to participate in a research study about responsibility for parents, being conducted through the Centre on Aging at the University of Victoria (funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada; project lead - Dr. Neena Chappell). The purpose of this research is to examine attitudes towards responsibility to parents and caregiving behaviours among three groups of caregivers to older adults: Caucasian Canadian, Canadian Chinese, and Chinese living in Hong Kong. This research will help us understand cultural differences in caregiving and caregiver well-being. We are seeking to interview those who identify as either Caucasian (White) Canadians or Canadian Chinese. Your participation in this research would involve one interview of about an hour and half in length, with a trained interviewer. Involvement is voluntary and everything you share is confidential. If you would like to participate or learn more, please contact Linda Outcalt at 472-4169 or loutcalt@uvic.ca

Affordable rent for B.C. seniors Are you 60 years of age or older? Do you struggle to make your monthly rent payments? Low-income seniors, who have lived in B.C. for the past 12 months, may be eligible to receive cash assistance towards their monthly rent payment through the Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters (SAFER) program. The Government of British Columbia helps make rent more affordable for more than 15,000 low-income seniors across the province through the SAFER program. To apply or learn more about SAFER, contact BC Housing at 604-433-2218 in the Lower Mainland, or 1-800-257-7756 in B.C. To learn more about other seniors’ programs and services, call 1-800-465-4911.

www.bchousing.org

H O U S I N G M AT T E R S 07-4108_North50_4C_ad.indd 1

JULY/AUGUST 47 11/23/072008 10:05:47 AM


Reflections

BY GIPP FORSTER

LEFT BEHIND

D

o you, like me, sometimes think that somewhere, somehow, you have been left behind? I cannot afford a new car and probably never will. I went for lunch recently with a friend in his year-old auto and have been in awe ever since. His car could talk! With a real voice! Now, I know this is probably old hat to worldly, active people, no matter their age. But to me, who goes so slow that people often think I am going backwards, this is a revelation! I remember when the automatic transmission was first introduced, and power steering and power brakes and flashing turn signals. At the time, I thought that was revolutionary, but agreed with many that the automatic transmission could never take the place of the clutch. That was only 50 or so years ago; and it was only a few years ago that I finally accepted the fact that all those things that made driving easier were here to stay. Then, to go for a drive with a friend and find out his car talks and draws a map on a little screen in the dash with the voice directing him how to get there and when to make each turn? It’s no wonder my wife got me a walker. I need it to try to keep up!

As my friend pointed out all the bells and whistles in what seemed like a grounded jet, I fell deeper and deeper into the lake of incredibility until I was sure I was near drowning. I wanted to break free and rush back to the mid20th century, find my old ’51 Pontiac and drive as fast as I could to uncomplicated times. I have watched my grandkids operating computers since they were about seven, and I have still to learn how to set the digital clock. It’s not conducive to the eldership of years to find out your grandchildren, in certain areas, know more than you do. It’s embarrassing, really, to go to them for advice on how to survive in a digital world. I wasn’t always slow. I did try to keep up at one time. I was one of the ones who said eight tracks would beat out cassettes. I was the one who bought a Beta machine over the V.H.S. when VCRs came on the scene. I still have a Polaroid camera. Rather hate to let it go. I keep it with the Beta and the eight tracks. I was in my 20s when we got our first black and white television set. That’s when I was first introduced to Howdy Doody and the Indian head test pattern that was on, it seemed, more often than

Reflections, Rejections, “Reflections” MAIL-IN ORDER FORM and Other Breakfast Foods Name_____________________________________ by Gipp Forster A collection of Gipp’s humorous and nostalgic columns. A wonderful read for Reflections, ���������� yourself, and and Other Breakfast Foods a thoughtful gift for friends and family members. Limited Edition

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Make cheque ____ BOOKS @ $14.95 each = $_________ payable to SHIPPING ($3.95 PER BOOK) = $_________ Senior Living SUBTOTAL = $_________ MAIL TO: GST (5% on SUBTOTAL) = $_________ Reflections Book Offer 153, 1581-H HillTOTAL = $_________ side Ave., Victoria Please allow two weeks for shipping. BC V8T 2C1

Photo: Krystle Wiseman

THEN & NOW

the TV shows of that era (1957-58). Compared to today’s television programming, Ed Sullivan, Perry Como and Jim Anderson on Father Knows Best were like monks who had strayed from their seminary. No remote control then. No colour TV. No 24-hour broadcasting. Today, I find it embarrassing to flip from channel to channel. If I were a catholic, I would be heading for confession each morning. Confessing what I had seen the night before on television, just clicking around. Most of it makes those who have been left behind blush. At least when I blush, my wife comments on my good colour. I haven’t the heart to tell her it has little to do with health, unless it is, of course, mental health. In this day and age of computers, digital programming, cellphones, Internet, e-mail, image telecommunication, talking cars and whiter-than-white teeth, I find it difficult, and often impossible, to take it all in, let alone understand it. Now that the DVD has arrived, I guess I will have to put my V.H.S. with my Beta machine, Polaroid camera and 27 eight tracks. Why do I keep them? You never know! They could make a comeback. (I haven’t given up on the clutch yet, either.) I don’t know when it happened. Being left behind, I mean. But that’s how I feel. Sometimes it gets lonely staring at a penny – once such a treasure and now not only meaningless, but valueless, as well. I’m thinking, too, that maybe my left leg would not be as useless as it is if I had held onto my old ’51 Pontiac with the clutch. Who knows? All I really know is that I am not as young as I once was, but neither am I as old as I am going to be. There’s a kind of a strange comfort in SL that.


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July 2008 Senior Living Magazine Island Edition